Duc Pho Company Area 7/68.This is the 174th Operations hootch as seen from the flight line.
Note the corrigated tin roofs with the sandbags used to help hold them down in high winds.
The long roofline in the left background is the mess hall. The two building's flanking the smaller building
(with the sign on it) are part of the Operations complex. The building to the right of
Operations (right side of photo) is the company commander's hootch. Guess it's just
hard to get away from the bureaucracy and the "REMF attitude," but it seems a bit strange
to have a speed limit sign (15 mph) posted on a FSB. (What're they gonna do to you for
going 20, send you to Vietnam?) Note the 174th's "Welcome to Duc Pho" sign on top of the Operations hootch.
Shark Bar B Que. The Sharks put on a lot of BBQ's throughout the years.
Here they're having one at the
front of the Shark hootch. Those individuals identified include:WO1 Bob Thomas facing the camera directly to the left behind the dogs,
and far right :Len Kaufman and LT Bob Gambler talking.
Lt Geoff Buckley is walking into the hootch (Back to the camera... sleeves rolled up). Note the two dogs doing battle for scraps in the
Shark 157 gunship with the 40mm grenade launcher in the turret
on the nose and two 19-shot 2.75-inch rocket pods. This is Shark 157 (64-14157).
We were just refueling and rearming at Quang Ngai airfield when I took this photo.
A rather interesting set of two photos by Jim; of his own
shadow, taken through the windshield of his Shark. Jim says this is Shark #157
"at cruising altitude, out for a walk in the park!" They were enroute to a mission
north of Duc Pho and west of Highway 1 (and west of LZ Dottie). The Sharks often traveled to and from
missions at this altitude--must have been at LEAST 25-feet and around 140 knots.
Occasionally we surprised some folks who would have preferred NOT to have
been surprised. You can tell it has the larger 19-shot rocket pods hanging off
each side of the aircraft. Imagine the start this would have given that farmer just
ahead as this Shark blows by just over his head. Look closely at the bottom photo. You can tell he's
looking at his work and doesn't know Jim's headed his way.
"Killing the South China Sea on a bore sight test". Rocket target practice
South China Sea. This photo is taken through the rocket site and shows
two 2.75-inch folding fin aerial rockets (FFAR) inflight. This is a maintenance flight test after the rocket
system had been repaired.
Thanksgiving dinner for the troops in 174th mess hall 1968. Officers and NCO's were not allowed into the mess hall until after the enlisted men ate. We (the officers and NCO's) got the leftovers. This was Major Brown's decision. He said the enlisted personnel deserved it, and the rest of us didn't.
It was GREAT! I was the mess officer (1LT at the time) and got the credit for the extravaganza, though the Mess Sergeant and cooks did it all. They really deserved the credit. They did get paid, incidentally, for I bought each of the cooks a bottle of booze and I left the Mess Sergeant alone to run his mess hall.
Christmas Eve party in the 174th O'Club in 1968. Top photo: (Back at the bar) CO
Maj. Brown ... the Pilots identified are
left to right: J.C. Pennington (white t-shirt), Don Tingle, Bill Walzer, Bill Cooper (behind the tree), Geoffrey Smith,
Jim Towle (yellow and brown shirt),
Warren Smith, Geoff Buckley, and Bob Thomas. Bottom photo is the same line-up (notice Bob Thomas with
tree on his head).
In March 1969, a French 75MM pack howitzer was fired by the Viet Cong (VC)
into the 174th company area and hit the company commander's hootch and the platoon
leaders' hootch. According to a recent note from Jim Towle (Shark 5 in 68-69), who
was there, the VC fired four rounds that night: one at the maintenance officer's hootch,
one at Maj Brown's hootch, one at the platoon leaders' hootch, and one at the flight
The platoon leaders' hootch had been converted not long before from a storage hootch, because Maj Brown decided that the platoon leaders should live separately from the rest of the pilots. It was directly across the company street from the 2nd Platoon pilots' hootch, and it housed four officers: both the 1st and 2nd Dolphin platoon leaders, the Shark platoon leader, and the company operations officer. Three officers were hit in the CO's hootch. Captain Rogers, who had been in the company only two days and was going to be the XO, was killed immediately by the round. Maj Brown was severly wounded and died of his wounds on March 17th. The outgoing XO, Maj Schmidt, was severly wounded and evacuated.
The bottom photo is the platoon leaders' hootch the morning after the attack. The O'Club is just outside the left side of the picture. Someone overflew the area after the attack and discovered that the maintenance officer's hootch, the CO's hootch, the platoon leaders' hootch, and the flight surgeon's hootch all lined up in a straight line. Because of the in-line targets, the VC did not have to change deflection, only elevation, of the weapon.