Pictures and Comments from Robert Tucker
[ Bob brings us PTF history from the MACV-SOG point of view. He is also looking for a buddy named Ed Clancy, RM1. ]
Dear Mr. Withers:
I stumbled across your website today and what a surprise to see the PTF’s. I was stationed with Naval Advisory Detachment Danang (1969-1970) at Camp Fay under military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), (MACSOG-31). I road the PTF on Plowman Missions from Danang to the 17th Parallel and also on coastal search and destroy missions south of Danang. You have a great website and thanks for remembering the PTF’s and their crew!
Sincerely yours, Robert K. Tucker RMCS USN (Ret.)
Sincerely, Robert K. Tucker (Tuck) RMCS USN (Ret.)
Dean Dan: As “one of those destroyer guys” I would like to personally thank you for all of the ice cream and especially the tomatoes! I never went on a mission that we didn’t pull along side one of the destroyers on the way back to Danang the following morning to say hi to the tin can sailors and get some goodies from them. All of the CO’s on the destroyers were absolutely outstanding! It may have been the PTF since there were some destroyer sailors that want to know if I would swap duty with them. Do ya think that they wanted to ride that PTF??? I don’t think they understood the missions of the PTF or they wouldn’t have wanted to swap! Will e-mail some more since it appears that this is what you are looking for. I will also spend some more time at your site viewing the maps and photos to give you the best feedback that I can. Sincerely, Tuck -----Original Message----- From: Dan Withers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org ] Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 10:57 AM To: 'Robert Tucker' Subject: RE: PTF's Bob, that was an incredible contribution. That is the exact, personal recollection that makes sense to share. Take a look at the PTF base drawing and see if you recall it any different. We are constantly fine tuning that. I was one of those destroyer guys out there in the night. I was an ET on the USS Stoddard DD-566 ( www.ussstoddard.org ) and we were dodging PTF’s coming in and out of DaNang. This whole ptfnasty.com project started as a result of photos that I had taken in 1965 of PTF’s flying by us. One of the goals here is to gather info and photos, especially movies of PTFs for a “Great Ships” for the History Channel. No one knows about the PTF. The PCF and PBRs have gotten all of the glory. In the last month we have been contacted by guys with PTF 8mm footage. That was exciting to hear about. Anything you want to share may trip a memory from someone that will take us down another exciting thread. Your perspective is different seeing the boat as a death and delivery tool, not as a beast that came back shot up and needed fixed in too short of a time frame. Keep it rolling. Thanks, Dan
Dear Dan: Take a look at the photo located at www.ptfnasty.com/ReadersPages/misc/fayhighqual.jpg I will call this photo “A” and take a look at photo located at www.ptfnasty.com/images/jpg/campfay3.jpg I will call this photo “B”. If you look at photo “B” will you see an “L shaped” building directly to the left of the number 1 in this photo that indicates the Entrance to Camp Fay, this “L Shaped” building can also be seen better in photo “A” about in the center of the photo. This “L Shaped” building was “Monkey Mountain FOB” and was occupied by the Green Beret’s. The building contained Monkey Mountain FOB Communication Center, Operations/Mission Planning Room, Administration Offices, Green Beret EM Club, and living quarters for the Green Beret’s. Since their club was small and had no room for entertainment the Green Beret’s also attended the USO entertainment that was provided by NAD in Club Rendezvous which is correctly depicted by the number 7 in photo “B”. I was invited into the Green Beret’s EM Club on several occasions, which was a real experience with several Mountain Yard Cross Bows hanging on the wall. I didn’t go back after the last time there when I observed two Green Berets each at one end of the bar shooting beer cans out of each other hand with 9mm handguns and both of them were stewed to the gills! I remember one Green Beret named Al Davis, a real professional that had seen and done way too much in SOG. I sure hope that Al made it out of Nam okay because he paid more than his dues in my opinion!! I have the utmost respect for the Green Beret! There was no Theatre as depicted as number 9 in photo “B” when I was there from Feb 1969 to Feb 1970. I wish that I knew when this photo was taken. Maybe this building was converted to a theatre after I left. There was an outside cabana off of the Mess Hall correctly depicted as number 10 where we watched movies outside in the early evening. If you look at Photo “A” you will see an open field with some water on the left edge of the photo. This was the start of a Village that was named Soncha if I remember correctly. This field was always completely wet and was a rice paddy while I was there. The guard towers were exactly as I remember them to be and you can barley see one of the guard towers behind the corner of the “L Shaped” building. The rest of the buildings in the compound are as I remember them to be. I will take a stab at more later.
From Alan Sandoval: There was no Theatre. It was an "outdoor enclosed area." There was some kind of roof, probably canvas, and it was enclosed with whatever mosquito protection we had at the time. Probably skimpy wood framing and screens. I was wrong to call it a "theater". It was right at the end of the enlisted barracks. Go down the "hall" turn right, and you are in the "mess hall." What did we call it? I can't remember! This was so cool after a year and a half on a ship. It really was more like a restaurant than a mess hall. This had to be the best part of my time there. There was always a "menu" to chose from. Cool! When I was on the Park County there was no issue over who was an officer and who was enlisted. Officers ate in the ward room and everyone else ate on the mess deck, aside from the 4 or 5 Chiefs who insisted on eating in their quarters in the far forward starboard compartment. On an LST that is about the most remote place on the ship. I do remember once or twice an officer would eat with us on the mess desk. I'm sure no Chief ever ate with the "crew". I guess I'm still pissed over that. What a bunch of arrogant assholes! At Camp Fay we all seemed to have a sense of equality. Make no mistake, enlisted didn't dis the officers, but we were treated with respect, most of the time. The true sign of this is that we all ate in the same place, enjoyed the movies together, and shared the club. In the late 60's this was a rare example of Officers and enlisted sharing the same space and enjoying the interaction. Camp Fay seemed to have an obsession with entertainment for the troops. Hired acts were at the club at least once a week, usually twice, Friday and Saturday. Also, bingo games! I think they were on Tuesday or Wednesday. I won a bunch of money on these. They were held in the "mess hall." There was an officer that had an obsession with some "special" cards and he'd show up early and get those cards for that night. I think he was the XO and I regularly beat him. I remember often leaving the bingo games with an extra 40 or 50 dollars in my pocket. Hmmm. I'm making it sound like it was fun. I guess parts of it were, aside from thinking I could be killed at any moment! Alan
Dear Dan: Yep, I remember the movies just like Alan does! And he is correct about the Mess Hall, we all ate together and the cooks and waitress's were Vietnamese. For breakfast we could order just about anything, lunch and dinner was what was prepared or we could always order cheeseburger and fries. I do remember all of the entertainment in the club and when we didn't have entertainment we had the slot machines. All the drinks were purchased with "Chit Books." I do not remember any bingo but I'm not a fan of bingo so maybe they had it and I was not in attendance. Do you know was Alan there any time from Feb 1969 to Feb 1970? I have been trying to locate Ed Clancy, RM1 that was assigned to NAD. I have lost track of Ed over the years and maybe Alan knows where he is.
Dear Dan: I have some photos (e.g. Camp Fay, cobra in my room, ?????, etc.) around here somewhere of Nam. If I can find them are you interested in them for your website? Do I upload to your site or do you get them on? I sent some e-mail to some ex-Navy types promoting your site, are you still interested in new members? I’m still looking for Ed Clancy, if you could get me on your site (e.g. my recent e-mails to you) maybe I can hook up with him or someone that knows where he is at.
07/06/02 Dear Dan: When I was going through my Nam stuff I did find something that I was initially hesitant to send to you because I am definitely not a poet. I wrote the following in Nam after LTJG Vaughn USN (assigned to CCN) was killed. LTJG Vaughn was going North on Highway 1 from DaNang to Hue and he took an AK-47 round right on the side webbing of his flack jacket an inch either way and he would have been just fine. If he died in Nam he wanted to be buried at sea off the coast of Vietnam. I really don’t know Dan if this is appropriate for your website. Re-reading this after all of these years still brings tears to my eyes about the men that we lost over there! Sincerely yours, Tuck