Reunion in Branson Mo.

  1. Here are some pictures of the Vinh Long 28th/96th avionics shop guys. We had a blast over the labor day weeked hanging out in Branson MO. Back together after 43 years


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You’re a 19 year old kid.You’re critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam ..It’s November 11, 1967. LZ (landing zone) X-ray.  Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so  intense from 100 yards away, that  your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming  in. You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you’re not getting out.  Your family is half way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again.As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day. Then – over the machine gun noise – you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter. You look up to see a Huey coming in. But.. It doesn’t seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it. Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you. He’s not MedEvac so it’s not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway. Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to come. He’s coming anyway. And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board. Then he  flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety. And, he kept coming back!! 13 more  times!! Until all  the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm. He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey. Medal  of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Air Force, died last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise , Idaho  May God Bless and Rest His Soul. I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing,  but we’ve sure seen a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and the bickering of congress over Health Reform.Medal of Honor Winner Captain Ed FreemanShame on the American media!!!
Now… YOU pass this along to YOUR
mailing list. Honor this real American. Please forward.
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Do you have any Vietnam photos or stories you would like to share on this blog?


Go to reply and type a comment. I will review it before it gets published.

Thank you for visiting my Vietnam Blog

Ray Mahoney
28/96 Signal Detachment
Vinh Long, Vietnam



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The guys met in Branson 2011.

Camp site Branson — Click on Photo
Trained Killers Waiting For Assignment



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Note that: “87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.” 

Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another -Vietnam
Veterans of America

“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are
estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s
age approximated to be 54 years old.” So, if you’re alive and reading this,
how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served
in Vietnam?…don’t know about you guys, but kind of gives me the chills,
Considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII
and Korean War vets.

So the last 14 years we are dying too fast, only the few will survive by
2015…if any; if true 390 Vietnam vets die a day. So in 2190 days from
today, lucky to be a Vietnam veteran alive in only 6 years.

These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW
Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer –
1st Recon April 12, 1997.


9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era
(August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).

8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28,

2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their

3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader
Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in
Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).

2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965
– March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and
1964. Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in
combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to
enemy attack.

7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.

Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).


The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the
509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

Hostile deaths: 47,378.

Non-hostile deaths: 10,800

Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez
casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the
changing total.

8 nurses died — 1 was KIA.

61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.

Of those killed, 17,539 were married.

Average age of men killed: 23.1 years.

Deaths –

Average Age? Total Deaths: 23.11 years.

Enlisted: 50,274 –22.37 years?

Officers: 6,598 –28.43 years.

Warrants: 1,276 –24.73 years?

E1: 525 –20.34 years?

11B MOS: 18,465 –22.55 years.

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

Highest state death rate: West Virginia – 84.1% (national average 58.9% for
every 100,000 males in 1970).

Wounded: 303,704 — 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no
hospital care.

Severely disabled: 75,000, — 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081
sustained multiple amputations. Amputations for crippling wounds to the
lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.

Missing in Action: 2,338

POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)

As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from
the Vietnam War.


25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed
forces members were drafted during WWII).

Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in  Vietnam.

Reservists killed: 5,977

National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.

Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.?·

Actually served in Vietnam: 38%?·

Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.?·

Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.


88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian;

10.6% (275,000) were black;

1% belonged to other races.

86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);

12.5% (7,241) were black;

1.2% belonged to other races.

170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.

70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.

86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were

12.1% (5,711) were black;

1.1% belonged to other races.

14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.

34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.

Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the
percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.

Religion of Dead:

Protestant — 64.4%;

Catholic — 28.9%;

other/none — 6.7%.


Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age

Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group
by more than 18 percent.

76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class
backgrounds. Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level;

50% were from middle income backgrounds.

Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or
technical occupations.

79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better
when they entered the military service. (63% of Korean War vets and only 45%
of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.)

Deaths by region per 100,000 of population:

South — 31%,

West –29.9%;

Midwest — 28.4%;

Northeast — 23.5%.


There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and
non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group. (Source: Veterans Administration

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one
percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.

85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.


82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost
because of lack of political will.

Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of


97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.

91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are
proud to have served their country.

74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.

1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995
(census figures).

During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to
have served in-country was: 9,492,958.

As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S.
Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe,
losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.

During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have
served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM
TO BE Vietnam vets are not

The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by
The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military
personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this
erred index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel
confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the
Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible
24/7/365). Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced
torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist
atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at
all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians
while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy.
Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while
Communists who did so received commendations.

From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725
Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders
at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants
such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers. – Nixon
Presidential Papers

John A. O’Neal, Pomeranian American

Other than slavery, nazism, fascism and George III, war has never solved any


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Pineapple Girl and the Back Beach (Bãi Sau) Vung  Tàu, Vietnam January 1967

One of the great perks working in the 28th 96th avionics signal shop in Vinh Long  was flying up to the bone yard near Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to salvage parts for Huey helicopters, slicks and gunships copters.  Repairing UHF airborne radio’s was boring for me and I was itching to get out of the air conditioned shop and see a lot more than the airfield compound and bars of  Vinh Long.Back Beach (Bia Sau) Vung Tau, Vietnam 1967 Little did I know I was going on a mini work vacation. Three days in Saigon (Paris of the Orient) and then the back beach of Vung Tau. Fortunately, I had a detour to the US Army Special Services repair shop in Vung Tau to pick up some parts. The parts were delayed and the trip turned into a mini R&R (Rest and Recuperation) vacation stopover in Vung Tau, Saigon, and Cholon- (Vietnam’s largest Chinatown).  I loved Cholon.  It reminded me of the times my Dad and I visited Chinatown in NYC. It was fun going through the maze of little shops each with a tiny 10 by 10 foot area to display their amazingly wide span of items. You could go in on one street and come out three blocks from where we started.  Cholon was a flashback to what is the now very prosperous, bigger than ever Tribeca area of Lower Manhattan near Canal Street.
The most memorable part of the bone yard trip was the Back Beach (Bai Sau). In my opinion one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen — cape shaped, warm water, kilometers of fine sand and palm trees. This was not the Orchard Beach I remembered in the Bronx,  Rockaway in Queens or the Hampton’s on Long Island in New York.  This was WAR!!! and my R&R.  I was going to take advantage of the situation.
Napping after a short swim I looked up and was startled by a cute bare footed little girl dressed in Vietcong black pajamas and a straw Chinese hat, she was holding a ripe pineapple to my face begging me to buy it.  “#1 pineapple GI”, 25 piasters (about 12 cents). I couldn’t resist the purchase from this Vietnamese doll. She expertly carve the pineapple like a surgeon going around it in steps and groves, removing the entire outer skin and leaving the stem as a handle stick to hold the masterpiece. It was delicious! While carving she asked me if I liked the bikini girls sitting down the beach under the umbrellas with their Mama-san. I said they looked good and they make a lot of money and why doesn’t she work for Mama-san. The little pineapple girl had a simple answer. “If I work for Mama-san I cannot sell pineapples anymore”. Wow!
I was reading about Vung Tau on wikipedia and found out that they will be building Disney type park, aquarium and 88-story skyscraper


Ray Mahoney

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New link to 1st Aviation Brigade

The 1st Aviation Brigade created a new link from the Brigade website to the 28th 96th Signal Detachment website and vice versa. Thanks  Larry
The 28th/96th Signal Detachment, were part of the 13th Aviation Battalion and supported the avionics needs of the 175th Outlaws and 114th Knights AHC’s.

Can anyone tell me what happened to the 28th / 96th Signal Detachments and what AHC’s they were supporting, as I left in August 1967.

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Jane Fonda

Never Forgive A Traitor

    For those of you too young to remember Hanoi Jane  done some terrible things during the Vietnam war.  Things that can not be forgiven!!!!

For those who served and/or died. . .



and now OBAMA wants to honor her……!!!!

In Memory of LT. C.Thomsen Wieland  who spent 100 days at the Hanoi Hilton

She really is a traitor.

This is for all the kids born in the 70’s and after who do not remember, and didn’t have to bear the burden that our fathers, mothers and older brothers and sisters had to bear..

Jane Fonda is being honored as one of the ‘100 Women of the Century.’

Unfortunately, many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our country, but specific men who served and sacrificed during Vietnam

The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot’s name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat.

In 1968, the former Commandant of the USAF Survival School was a POW in Ho Lo Prison the ‘ Hanoi Hilton.’

Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell, cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJ’s, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American ‘Peace Activist’ the ‘lenient and humane treatment’ he’d received.

He spat at Ms. Fonda, was clubbed, and was dragged away.  During the subsequent beating, he fell forward
on to the camp Commandant ‘s feet, which sent that officer berserk.

In 1978, the Air Force Colonel still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying career) from the Commandant’s frenzied application of a wooden baton.

From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4E’s). He spent 6 years in the ‘Hanoi Hilton’,,, the first three of which his family only knew he was ‘missing in action’. His wife lived on faith that he was still alive.  His group, too, got the cleaned-up, fed and clothed routine in preparation for a ‘peace delegation’ visit.

They, however, had time and devised buy cialis online a plan to get word to the world that they were alive and still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his Social Security Number on it , in the palm of his hand.

When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man’s hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: ‘Aren’t you sorry you bombed babies?’ and ‘Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?’ Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper.

She took them all without missing a beat.. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge and handed him all the little pieces of paper..

Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Colonel Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know of her actions that day.

I was a civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam , and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in 1968, and held prisoner for over 5 years.

I spent 27 months in solitary confinement; one year in a cage in Cambodia ; and one year in a ‘black box’ in Hanoi My North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in Ban me Thuot , South Vietnam , whom I buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border. At one time, I weighed only about 90 lbs. (My normal weight is 170 lbs)

We were Jane Fonda’s ‘war criminals….’

When Jane Fonda was in Hanoi , I was asked by the camp communist political officer if I would be willing to meet with her..

I said yes, for I wanted to tell her about the real treatment we POWs received… and how different it was from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by her as ‘humane and lenient.’

Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees, with my arms outstretched with a large steel weights placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane.

I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda soon after I was released. I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She never did answer me.

These first-hand experiences do not exemplify someone who should be honored as part of ‘100 Years of Great Women.’ Lest we forget….’ 100 Years of Great Women’ should never include a traitor whose hands are covered with the blood of so many patriots.

There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Hanoi Jane’s participation in blatant treason, is one of them. Please take the time to forward to as many people as you possibly can.. It will eventually end up on her computer and
she needs to know that we will never forget. RONALD D. SAMPSON, CMSgt, USAF 716 Maintenance Squadron, Chief of Maintenance DSN: 875-6431 COMM: 883-6343


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Catholic Church Vinh Long

Church outside Vinh Long 1966Catholic church Vinhlong VietnamIt was 1967 and I was on my way downtown to the bars to renew my social life and look at what I found, this gigantic Catholic Church in a little Vinh Long Town.  This was a Kodak moment and had to have my picture taken to send home to my very Irish Catholic mother who prayed the rosary for me everyday. That’s the least I could do. Now, 44 years later I’m here to blog about it, thanks Mom, life is good. Wonder if the church is still there and what’s the name.

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Irish Nuns of Vinh long

Convent Vinh Long 1966

Good Shepard Convent Vinh Long, Vielnam 1966


This is a picture of the Good Shepard (Irish Nuns) convent and girls vocational school located near Vinh Long Army Airfield in Vietnam. This is what it looked like in 1966. I’ve been told the school is closed down now. Does anyone know any history about the school and the nuns? I remember bringing them food and supplies. The sisters wore the traditional very white habit we never see anymore. I have a picture gallery showing the nuns and the convent buildings

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Then (1966) and now (2010)


The Avionics Gang 28th 96 Signal Det. 1966

Top row: Pop Ansel, Pryor, Fonner, Rosenberg, Parks, Bottom: Cpt. Clop, Mahoney, Franks, Bean, Jones, Rokiecki

We all got along so well. I don’t think I ever saw anyone start a fight. Although we did like to watch our favorite compound dog “Gunner” take on other dogs, everyone stopped and watched as Gunner was always the favorite beat the hell out of the other dogs. We would yell “VC Gunner get em”.

Harvey Jones loved the dogs and fed them frequently. Where are you Harvey!!?
Here are some pictures of Harvey feeding the dogs.

Harvy Jones Vinh Long Dogs

Someone said he was from the Washington DC area. We should try and find him. So far 8 of us got together and regrouped on vacation in Bran son, Mo, over the Labor Day weekend. Next year we are planning to enjoy Table Top Lake near Branson. Can’t wait !!!!!! Here are a couple of pictures of the Vinh Long compound dogs.

Everyone changes over the years but this is ridiculous! Check out the way these Vet’s look now!!!>>>

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Beer Chart at the Hooch


Fonner, Ron Alcott. Hall, ??

Frank Parks foreground

Ok you guys, now I know what the beer chart was. You must have started it after I left, however, you know that I wouldn’t have had very many marks on the chart anyway!!!!!!!!
Subject: RE: Beer chart
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 13:03:41 -0600

Didn’t we also call him Baby Huey??
 He must have used our names, you know that you and I couldn’t have had that many marks on our chart.  Heck Ski didn’t have any.  I sure wished we could find Ski for our next gathering.
 Maybe the marks were to keep track of  how many times we were going downtown to the bars .
Jerry L. Bean

JerryI think Orville Freeman was using our name.

Hi Ya’ll,
You aikies always try to forget how much you used to drink.The beer chart: Each pay day each us gave the NCOIC x number of dollars to buy beer. For example, he may have bought two cases and each guy was allotted,say, ten cans. When you drank a beer you had to mark it on the beer chart. I seem to recall that when the marks equalled the amount drank, the NCO had to buy more. Or maybe it was that once your share was gone you had to beg, borrow,buy,or steel  from some one else. What ever it was, we always had beer on hand. Do you remember the day the two and a half ton truck pulled in with the truck bed filled with Danish beer? We filled our big garbage can with it. But it tasted like sierra,hotel, item,tango. Warm regards,Big Al

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Ron at Skaggs Hospital

Our Vietnam buddy Ron wanted to tour the local hospital and stayed for 6 days. Here is picture of Ron getting a shot of morphine. The nurse said “what arm do want to use?”


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Live audio VN 1967

Go back 43 years and listen to a real combat operation.

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Jims mobile home

Last day at Table Top Lake 9/2010Never expected to see anything like this. Jim said it was a camper, this is a rock star motor home. TNX Jim, you drove it like a pro, at times with no more than three inches on each side through the trees.

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Branson reunion gallery

 We all got together in Branson, Mo for the second annul reunion. We have already set the date for the third reunion. This time we will have cabins on the lake brand viagra and of course Jim will have his VIP moblie home park near by the for us to tour the area.

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link to picture  >>>>>



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