Phuoc Vinh Village


The Vietnamese People Continue their Traditional Way of Life

Phuoc Vinh firebase (Camp Gorvad) was next to the Village of Phuoc Vinh. Of course, that’s how it got its name.

When I arrived in Phuoc Vinh in March of 1970, we were allowed to go down to the village and hit the bars. My first time was with a couple of fellow Blues, and I got totally wasted on a Vietnamese beer called “33”. I remember holding a bottle of “33” up to a light, and you could see all kinds of stuff floating around in the bottle. That was my first and last encounter with “33”.

About a month later the village was off limits to GIs because of the violence…

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Many of the Village People worked at our Phuoc Vinh firebase next to their village.

Oxen pulling a wooden cart was a familiar sight.

One of the few cars I saw in Vietnam.

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Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder
Ron was with the 720th Military Police attached to The 1st Infantry’s M.P. Company stationed in Phouc Vinh during Operation Junction City in 1967.

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Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Looking down towards the market from the main gate
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Holding cell at 1st M.P. Quarters
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Main gate
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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M.P.’s from the 720th M.P. Battalion TDY during Junction City
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Market Place
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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The Hero Bar which sat just outside the main gate
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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This young lady worked at the Venus Bar
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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111 Comments

Filed under Vietnam War

111 responses to “Phuoc Vinh Village

  1. Ron McMillan

    Do you remember the rocket attacks that occured in mid march of 1970? I think it was the 12th or 13th.
    Ron
    ronmcmillan5@mchsi.com
    SSG 13th Signal Bn

    • usastruck

      I arrived in Country March 19, 1970.
      I just missed that one…

      • I think my father was with the 13th…..His name is Louis Ceccarelli. He was a crypto man…..Trying to find anybody who knew him in-country….

      • Darrel A Peaks

        I was with the 13th Signal Bn, 1st Cav. My 2nd tour in August of 1970. Crypto was just down the road. I was one of the Motor pool mechanics Sneaky Peaks aka Ratman.
        I knew some of the crypto guys, can’t say I remember your Dad, knew most guys by nicknames. Pictures of the time he was there always helps.

    • Craig

      I was in the 595th signal co in the 1st/9th aera. We used to go over to your mess hall for midnight chow. We got hit frequentley. I was transfered to Lai Khe. Returned to Phouc Vinh a few months later. Must have been just after the attacks you are refering to. I found out that the village had been made off-limits because of a problem that occured there.

      Craig

      P.S. We ate at your mess hall all the time after ours burned down.

      • Fred thibodeau

        Craig I was 595 36th sig battalion.July 69 August 70

      • Wayne DeCillis

        hello, was with 595th sig, white platoon at phouc vinh from may 69 till
        nov 70. was on bunker 49 when messhall burnt, remember numerous rckrt attacks including hanger hit. being there was the most intense experience of my life, not counting the death of my youngest son in a care accident

    • Fred Thibodeau

      I remember because I had just gotten back from Hawaii R&R not long after.I was on duty that night at the commenter when the incoming started and we hit the bunker.We could hear the shrapnel flying into the building and over our heads,

      • Craig Stedman

        Yes, I have a 1969 595th Signal Company yearbook. I don’t know if this was something they did every year or if it was just a one-time thing. I remember one morning a Vietnamese was taking pictures of everyone and taking orders for these books. I have no idea where they were printed. It isn’t very good quality. There are pictures of everyone at Di an, Lai Khe and Phouc Vinh.
        I still have mine.

        Craig

    • J David Bogue

      Oh yeah Ron. I was a pilot with Blue Max. Our hanger was hit and many buildings were affected. There was fear of a ground attack. I ran about helping with wounded.

      • Yep I am Mike Cole and I was in the Hanger a couple times when hit. Thank God for shipping containers with sand bags !! I Crewed Blood Sweat and Tears 68-15063 Welcome Home !!

    • Jim

      I remember being next to a Chopper Pad watching a movie on a bed sheet hung up on a sand bag wall. Rockets started coming in and several slicks were hit and a Rocket landed next to where we were sitting killing three and injuring 8 (I believe). Co “A” 2/7th Cav.
      Festus.

    • Rick Dailey

      It destroyed several of our Medevac ships. Mine was lightly shrapnel damaged

  2. Fred Thibodeau

    I too was in the 595th from July 69 to August 1970.Fred.

  3. bob stephenson

    I was there from 2/68 until 9/68 with D-Co. 2/506th Abn. Inf.- 101st Abn,
    it was our base camp, we would go out on missions for 2 to 4 weeks, come back for 2 to 3 days, pull bunker guard. In 8 months I never slept in our barracks, only the jungle and bunkers. After Phuoc Vinh we went to Camp Eagle and worked in Ashau,
    I do have some short super 8 movies I took of our base camp. I believe it used to be a rubber tree plantation owned by Michlein Tire, before we got there.
    Bob Stephenson bs101st@gmail.com

  4. George Bone

    I was in the 595th from 3/67 until the day big Tet started in 1/68, when i processed out at Lai Khe and went down to the 90th Replacement Co in Long Binh to head home. I was radio plt. In the 595 and spent a month in Phouc Vinh during summer ’67. We were supposed to set up a radio net with Di Anh, but that never happened. I went back to Di Anh a d then on to Lai Khe. I recall we ate in a nice chow hall, not our own, at Phouc Vinh.
    We were the only 595 personnel there at that time.

    George “Butch” Bone

  5. Wayne DeCillis

    was at phouc vinh may 69 till nov 70 with 595th signal co. worked in pcm bunker. wayne decillis

  6. Gene

    wonder if anyone on here was with me A co 1st 28th in 1966

  7. William Frazier

    Bill Frazier
    i arrived to Phuoc Vinh late October assign to the 595th signal co.white platoon, also was sent to lai khe for training. But before then in ole Phuoc Vinh where i encounter what it was all about got hit by motar aattack my first night there. went through them tet offenses met a lot of friends return the the states on novenber 7 1969

    • Wayne DeCillis

      I DID 18 MONTHS AT PHOUC VINH WITH 595th Signal Co. White Platoon. remember rockets thru hangers, mess hall burning etc. was there May 0f 69 till Thanksgiving day 70. recently have made contact with another
      guy that was there with me . Steve Dalryple. is there anyone else out there that was there at the same time. was in the Pcm bunker. like to hear from you

      • Craig Stedman

        I was in Phouc Vin in 1969. Was there a few months and then transferred to the Red Platoon at Lai Khe. Remained there till they redeployed the Big Red One. Then I was transferred back to Phouc Vinh. I remember the rockets hitting the 1/9 Cav’s maintenance hanger and the mess hall burning to the ground. I still have a 595th signal company year book from 1969. I still remember most of the faces and the names, but I have to look them up to put them together. Good to hear from you guys. Brings back a lot of memories.

      • Antonio Quidgley

        I was there with you. Antonio Quidgley

    • I was in 595 signal in phuoc vinh in 1967 until 1968 I was 31m radio relay operator email me at johnhill134@att.net

  8. Darrel Peaks

    I was there, 13th Sig Bn 1st Cav, Feb 69 Aug 70, Darrel Peaks aka Sneaky Peaks the Rat Man!

  9. Earl (Sam) Grimes

    2/20th Blue Max, Aug 1970 Rocket Attack hit our company hard, left lots of guys either wounded or dead. In the AM a quarter of our unit was gone. Our maintenance hangar was next to the 1st of the 9th’s hangar they were very large and lighted up at night. They were great targets for the VC and the hangar walls and roof looked like swiss cheese from all the mortars and rocket attacks. The lights also a attracted swarms of big ass flying beetles that would fill the hangar floor once they crashed (not fun walking on them).
    I served in Nam from Nov 69 to July 71 (Early Out) with my last nine months in lovely Bien Hoa as a door gunner with 229th 1st CAV.
    I hope all my bothers in harms way are doing well and God bless the fallen.

    • Craig Stedman

      I was in the 595th signal co at Phouc Vinh. As I remember, the 2/20 was behind us. They were living in field tents as they had no hooches and they used our shower. I left in April 1970 and this is the first I’ve heard about the attack in august. I would be interested in hearing more. Curious to know if any in our company were killed or wounded.

      • Earl (Sam) Grimes

        Hello Craig, You may have our Company mixed up with some other company. When I arrived to the 2/20 in Nov, 69 we had Hooches with sand bags about 8 feet high on the sides. I lived in one that was called the ZOO.
        Our Hooches were at the end of the runway to the right as aircraft departed, by the green-line. Maybe they were in tents before in got there. I’m sorry I don’t think I knew anyone from the 595th signal company. Take Care.

    • James M Broadnax

      I was there at phouc vinhfrom June 1970 to Feb 1971 I was wounded by morter on Aug

      • What unit did you serve with?

      • sam2434@att.net

        Hello James I was with the 2/20 co B. And when they disassembled the unit I was transferred to the 229th. I was in country from 1969 to 71. While I was with the 2/20 I worked in armament with Gillmaster in the small hut on the flight. Unfortunately I can’t remember too many other names (senior citizen thing). I hope you’re doing well and welcome back. Sam

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

    • Welcome Home Sam some names the night you speak of. Me Mike Cole, Bud Hannah, John Caldwell, Rodney Hedges, John Shortridge, Bill Kohler. I remember my Friend very well. God Bless Mike

      • Max Hosafros

        Mike, I remember all the names you listed, do you remember a guy named Deganhart ? I worked B Btry Motor Pool. Great hearing from someone from Gorvad. Take care and Welcome home, I think the two guys killed during the 11 Aug 70 rocket arrack was Ron Young from California and Warner from Iowa.

      • Max Hosafros

        The rocket attack was on 22 Aug 70 instead of 11 Aug 70. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Welcome home to all.

    • Wayne DeCillis

      remember that night well. peace wayne

  10. J David Bogue

    Earl, I was a young Blue Max pilot back then. Do you remember either Kenny Perkins or Kim Nelson?

    • Earl (Sam) Grimes

      Hello David, Nelson sounds familiar but I can’t remember. I do remember Capt. Shippy. I worked in the with Sargent Gillmaster in the armament containers next to the Big Hangar on the flight line. I was a 45J20 armament specialist. I would replace the barrels on the mini guns you pilots melted down LOL. I still stay in contact with a guy named Paul Macy who was in our unit (mechanic). I also spent some time in Loc Ninh repairing weapons and re-loading rockets on the AH-1 Cobras. Lots of red clay dirt on my face because of dust offs. Have you flown since Nam? Hope your doing well MR. or Sir David.

      • J David Bogue

        Earl, do you remember the Aircraft Maintenance Officer, a W3 named Shanks? We called him Chunker.
        Well mate we certainly brushed shoulders back then. Yes, I still fly helicopters, primarily in Australia & Papua New Guinea.
        davidbogue@bigpond.com

  11. looking for someone that served with me at HHC 8th Eng Battalion 1st Cav May 1970 to April 1971 I do not remember any of my Nam time Please help me

  12. Wm. Sponseller Jr.

    Tour in Phuoc Vinh September 1968 to September of 1969 with Charlie Battery of 6/27th Artillery.

  13. John Strickland

    Phu Bai 8th RRFS MACV Aug. 1967 to Aug. 68
    Tay Ninh 1st Cav., 2nd of the 20th Aug 68 to Aug 69
    Phuoc Vinh 2nd of the 20th Blue Max 31G40 commo sgt.
    I was also put in a tent in Phuoc Vinh when I arrived there. Had sand bags around the sides. I remember all the rubber trees. My last 6 months I was the greenline sgt. for our sector. I also remember a rocket attack while watching a movie outside one night. Anyone remember the date and movie?
    Ate some of the best shrimp I have ever had when I went into Phuoc Vinh.

      • John Strickland

        Thanks,
        I had a friend with the 1st/9th there. All I remember was his name was Evan. I think he said he was from Calif. Used to hand out at his bunker.
        Don’t know if you might have known him. I had spent a year in Tay Ninh before coming to Phuoc Vinh in Aug. of 69. Left Vietnam in June of 70.

      • Darrel A Peaks

        Yes I remember the guy, he smoked a pipe, wanted to make sure he made it home.

      • John Strickland

        That’s what I’m trying to find out. He sent me a letter after I got back to the states, but I never heard from him again. I can’t remember the name of the other guy that shared the bunker. Small guy and really funny.

    • Wayne DeCillis

      hard to believe but once was watching the Green Berets outside in the 1/9th area when we got hit. took a few seconds the figure if it was the movie or reality. no idea on the date

      • John Strickland

        I just told my wife that I thought that was the movie we were watching. Like you said, took a few seconds to realize if it was the movie or reality. I thought I was watching it over at the 2nd/20th, but I did have some friends over at the 1st of the 9th…too long to remember.

      • Wayne DeCillis

        i was with 595th signal and our site was behind the hanger. signal tower, pow impound our nearest neighbors. really don’t remember the units idenity but was near the area of the guys who did the rat patrols every night and where all those guys got killed in their hootch near the new mess hall. that’s where i recalled the movie incident happening. its been so long as you said and at times now i sometimes forget my own name. i just remember trying the short period of confusion before everyone realized it was movie noise. peace wayne

      • Sam Grimes

        I remember watching the movie the Green Berets in the 2/20th outside theater and taking incoming and not being sure what was going on because the movie was loud. The projectionist was Bill Arksey, Who was also the commanding officer’s driver and ran the mail room.

      • Joe McGowan

        Wayne I was in Phuoc Vinh May 69 to April 70 as Crypto repairmen (KW-7). I lived in the 1st hooch from the road across from the POW camp. Do you remember or did you meet Cal Lewis the songwriter who was in our hooch? I have good memories of Vietnam. Have lots of pic’s.

      • Joe, if you would like to share some photos, send them my way. Welcome Home…

      • Wayne DeCillis

        REMEMBER HIM WELL. HE WROTE “WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN’
        HE WAS A REALLY NICE GUY. I WAS IN PCM BUT REMEMBER THE CYRPTO GUYS REALLY WELL. HAVE HUNDEDS OF PICTURES ALSO

    • John do you remember Mike Cole Bud Hannah? Welcome Home Brother

      • John Strickland

        Hi Mike, sorry but I don’t remember you or Hannah. I am better at remembering races than names. Maybe too long ago.
        Welcome home.
        John Strickland

      • John Brown

        No Mike I’m sorry I don’t but welcome home brother good to hear from you

  14. Wayne DeCillis

    realized it wasn’t movie noise. sorry for the misprint.

    • Darrel A Peaks

      There was a 122 that came in one Sunday morning that exploded at the far end of the motor pool, em and officers were playing volley ball near the motor pool repair shop, one of the mechanics took shrapnel in the upper left shoulder (Hyatt ). We all mechanics slept in the Crankcase, I named it, Darrel (Sneaky) Peaks, also called Rat Man. Zero Man drove the Turd Toaster.

      • John Brown

        Darrel I was in the 13th from June 69 – June 70 my name is John Brown. Was That Laval hyatt I believe from Utah. I remember the turd toaster. I am sure if I saw your picture I would remember you

      • Darrel Peaks

        I remember you Brown, as a matter of fact I’m looking at a picture of you in the Crankcase sitting on your bunk, you have a picture of your girlfriend/wife on a small shelf attached to one of the ammo cases we used to separate our living areas. . Yes it was Hyatt that took the shrapnel in the left shoulder if not mistaken when the 122 came in. It hit just past a piss tube at the opposite end of the motor pool. Some of the guys in our hooch was Hyatt, McCay, Pillow, Patterson, Hathaway, Granger, Haines, Lebron (P.R.), Matias, Old Man CO’s driver. Remember Lema Lema, Long was his last name can’t remember his first name. Volunteered to be a door gunner, was killed in action about three weeks after he left.

      • John Brown

        I remember all those names and I remember long but I can’t remember his first name now either Seems like he was from Bakersfield California I think. I do remember the 122’s played hell with us for a long time. What are you up to now Darrell

      • Darrel Peaks

        I’m a retired County Veterans Service Officer. I was retired from the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission in Columbus, Ohio after 20 years in 2012. Now living in Delaware, Ohio about 20 miles north of Columbus with my wife and an empty nest! Still assisting Veterans with their disability claims. Feel free to email me and I can send you that picture of yourself and one of me then and now. It’s Good to hear from You! I just saw one of the spoons who worked in the officers/Nco mess hall yesterday at the Columbus VA Clinic where he works as a DAV service officer, Henry Snodgrass, we shared VN photos. I’m also on Facebook.

      • John Brown

        I will reach you on facebook. I can’t tell you how excited I am to connect with someone from the 13th

      • John Brown

        Darrell I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be able to connect with someone from from that time and from our old unit I certainly would like to keep in contact with you so I will look you up on Facebook thank you so much for responding to my reply

    • John Strickland

      2nd/20th was the Blue Max Cobra unit next to the green line and hangers and ammo dump for the Cobras. I remember the ammo dump getting hit one night.

    • Craig Stedman

      I have told of this same incident several times. My memory may not be very good any more. As I remember we were watching the movie Green Berets starring John Wayne of course, next to our club, which was a quonset hut in the 1/9th Cav motor pool directly across from our hooches.
      We expierienced incoming and everyone continued watching the movie, for awhile until we realized it wasn’t part of the movie. I hope this sounds correct. There is a picture of our hooches and our club on this website. At the end of the airstrip pictures.

  15. John Strickland

    Sam Grimes,
    How much do you remember about that night of the movie? Do you remember anyone getting hit with shrapnel? Nothing major, just a minor injury. Do you remember the date or even the month. I left in Aug., so I know it was a couple of months before that.
    Thanks,
    John Stickland

    • Sam Grimes

      Hey John,
      I wish I could help you with times and dates but the years haven’t been too kind my memory. I could say it was that hot night with a chance of rain but that would’ve been almost every night in Vietnam.
      Take Care & Merry Christmas.
      Sam

  16. Ronald Kidder

    I was wondering if any of the 1st. I.D. M.P.s are on here. If so, I’d love to see any photos of Phouc Vinh 1967. Not only 1st,I.D., but any one who was there in 1967. Thanks….

  17. Bob Mayers

    Hi Joe McGowan and Wayne DeCillis, I was a Cryto repair in Phuoc Vinh from Oct 68 – Oct 69. Hope you are well. Have you heard from any others that were there? My bunk was next to Mike (can’t remember last name, maybe Ryan) he was an operator. I too remember Cal.

  18. Lozier (Butch) Phillips

    Mr.Bogue
    I don’t know if you remember me or not, spc 4 phillips, I was one of the crew chiefs in Phouc Vihn sept 70 until we stood down. I remember Bravo btry went TDY to the 101st for about a month (?) then to f79th and went from Bear Cat to Mace until I came home.

  19. Henry L Clendaniel

    Wayne Decillis I was station at Phuoc Vinch from May 1970 to Sep when i got sent to CLSU Long Binh. Was a 36S30 Crypto. Trying to place your face

  20. Rudy Titz

    I was with 2/20 Blue Max as the Mail Clerk and CO Driver. CDR was Maj Anderson and 1 Sgt Name was Poole. We had incoming while watching the movie The Green Berets. It was a total chaos…many wounded and some deaths. I was send to Hawaii to become US citizen ( I was originally from Germany) and ended my tour with 229th in Bien Hoa as Crew chief. My tour in Nam was from Aug 70 until Aug 71. Bless all of you my Brothers!
    Rudy Titz

  21. Gary Johnson

    Henry, good to hear from you!! Been a REALLY LONG TIME!!! HOPE ALL IS WELL !!!

    • Henry L Clendaniel Jr

      Gary saw you talking to Wayne. I remember Larry and Dale The Kid Hall and i think he was from Hagerstown MD. Do you remember a guy last name Jones can’t remember his first name but he was a teletype repairer 31J I think.

      • Gary Johnson

        Can’t remember Jones, maybe if I saw a picture. How bout Chris Ingram, crazy guy from California.

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