Tag Archives: Long Binh

The Chieu Hoi Program


Psychological Operations

At 90th Replacement in Long Binh I saw my first Viet Cong or perhaps I should say former Viet Cong. I was a FNG (F**king New Guy in Country) and I saw him when I walked into a latrine. There he was squatting (not sitting) over a latrine seat sort of what they were accustomed to in the jungle. He still had on black pajamas, so I knew he was relatively new in the Chieu Hoi program.
I must admit I felt a bit uncomfortable…

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The men pictured here are former Viet Cong. Under the Chieu Hoi program, they abandoned the Communist side and were outfitted to fight for the government in Saigon. (1970)

Front:

Back:

Jesus Angel Martinez from Spain emailed the two above pictures of a leaflet he has in his possession.
Many thanks for your contribution Jesus!

The Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) program was the biggest and most expensive psychological operation (PSYOP) campaign of the 10-year Vietnam War.

Leaflet # SP-2141 depicts a mother crying over the image of her dead son, killed while fighting. The leaflet is designed to encourage enemy soldiers to rally to the government side before being killed in battle. PSYOP records indicate that 15 million copies of this leaflet were prepared in December 1967 and forwarded to Da Nang, Nha Trang, Pleiku, Bien Hoa, and Can Tho. The text on the front of the leaflet is:

We cry for the dead
We are bitter because of the Communists
have destroyed our families.
When will mothers and children be reunited?

The text on the back explains all the advantage of rallying:

EACH RETURNEE WILL RECEIVE FROM THE GOVERNMENT:

1. Good treatment.

2. Citizenship papers.

3. Health care at the “Open Arms Center.”

4. A Reunion with his family.

5. 30 Piasters for food each day.

6. 200 Piasters pocket money each month while living at the “Open Arms Center.”

7. Reward for returned weapons – 500 to 7,800 Piasters.

8. Two suits of clothing valued at 1,000 Piasters.

9. 1,000 Piasters for transportation to go home.

10. Help in finding a job.

11. Returnees living in the “Open Arms” village will receive: cement, metal roofing material, 10,000 Piasters for building costs, 2,000 Piasters for furniture, and a six-month supply of rice.

U-10 aircraft disbursing leaflets

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Bob Hope USO Show


Christmas Day 1970

It was going to be another hot sunny day in Vietnam, but this would go down as one of my most memorable days by far.

A hand full of Charlie Troopers including Roy McDonald and myself hitched a ride in the back of a 3/4 ton Jeep and headed to Long Binh to attend the Bob Hope USO Christmas Show.

I was fortunate enough to be Charlie Troop’s mail clerk when Christmas Day rolled around. Had I still been with the Blues, I would not have made the trip.

Bob was accompanied by Les Brown & his Band of Renown, Miss Universe, Jennifer Hosten, Lola FaLana, Johnny Bench and the Gold Diggers.

This is where I sat on that hot and sunny Christmas Day. A few GI’s climbed trees and telephone poles to get a better view of the stage.

The show ended with everyone singing “Silent Night” and not a dry eye anywhere.

The Golddiggers

Lola Falana


Johnny Bench

The following four photos were taken by Staff Sgt Dave Roger at the 1969 Bob Hope Christmas Show in Lai Khe.

The show lasted 2 1/2 hours and included Connie Stevens, The Goldiggers, Theresa Graves from Laugh – In, Miss World from Austria, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, and surprise guest Neil Armstrong.

In Dave’s letters home, he described how emotional it was to hear Silent Night; not a dry eye to be found.

National Salute to Bob Hope & the Military – San Diego, CA

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90th Replacement Battalion


Processing and Assignment in Long Binh
“They had you coming and going!”

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Entrance to the 90th Replacement Battalion in Long Binh, 24 June 1971.
Photo by Sp5 Logan L. McMinn, DASPO

VIETNAM 90th Replacement Entrance Road

There were a couple of buses at the Bien Hoa Air Base patiently awaiting our arrival to take us to our next destination. That was 90th Replacement Battalion, situated on the road to Saigon between the village of Bien Hoa and the huge base at Long Binh. There we would be assigned a unit we would serve with in Vietnam.
The bus ride to 90th Replacement was relatively short and everyone seemed exhausted from the long flight.

VIETNAM 90th Replacement Barracks

When we arrived, we filed off the busses and were assigned to barracks where we were to await processing and assignment. We were marched into the long building, which had a concrete floor, wooden walls that were built with each slat at an angle so the wind could blow through and ventilate the building, wire screen on the inside of the walls and a tin roof.

VIETNAM 90th Replacement PX

90th Replacement Post Exchange

The next morning after chowing down at the mess hall, we all lined up on the parade field where they called names of those who have been assigned a unit. These were called shipping formations and were held every two or three hours. My name was not called the first day, so I had to wait at least another day to find out where I was going.

That night two of us were assigned perimeter guard duty. Around the perimeter of each firebase, there were bunkers constructed with sand bags where you stand watch for any enemy infiltration. The other guy with me said just a week ago a sapper came through the perimeter wire and slit the throats of the guys on our bunker. I figured he just made that story up, so I would stay up all night and pull his watch while he slept. Well, it worked, as I didn’t get one wink of sleep.

There was rumors floating around, that our units up north were experiencing heavy casualties. I just had a feeling, I would be one of their replacements, especially with my MOS of 11 Delta (recon).

VIETNAM 90th Replacement Out-processing

The next day as a large group of us was lined up in formation, the guy next to me offered me a chew. I did smoke at that time, but had never tried a chew before. I accepted his offer and put a small wad of Red Man in my mouth. Just as my name was called with orders for my new unit, everything started spinning around me. I heaved my last two meals all over the parade field. Needless to say, that was a moment of great embarrassment!

Call it a case of the nerves or the affects of chewing tobacco on my system, or maybe a combination of both, I just received orders to report to C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division…

RVN-097 copy

Photos courtesy of SP4 David Ross Diser (Payroll Specialist
90th Replacement Battalion, 12/10/66-12/01/67)

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