Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Name:
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

REUNION AND VIETNAM WAR STORIES: AFTER 34 YEARS


Little compares to the camaraderie of military men who shared wartime adventures. Years drop away with shared memories. The photo shows me and war buddy Bill Kibble. For the reunion photo, I retrieved the “Boonie hat” I wore in Vietnam. Bill looks older than the last time I saw him thirty-four years ago (he says I do too). A couple of years ago, Bill and I relocated each other over the Internet.

Bill Kibble was a wonderful friend in Vietnam and Thailand. When we met again Thursday evening, after thirty-four years, we picked our conversations where we left off. But we also enjoyed re-telling our “war stories” - and I included" off-the-record legislative war stories" (Bill lives in Boise, Idaho, so that's probably safe!). As a bonus, I got to meet Bill’s wife Pat, and Pat met my Marlene. Life is good.

Bill Kibble and I served together in Vietnam at Monkey Mountain outside DaNang in 1972. At top camp, I was a Senior Director with Panama Control, a manual radar control site; Bill was next door in the same building as a Battle Commander with Motel Control, a computerized radar control site. We both lived at the “Monkey House” at bottom camp. Bill and I were both active with the little base chapel there operated by Father Paquette, an older civilian priest of French-Canadian ancestry. The priest had managed to escape from North Vietnam to continue his work around DaNang.

In addition to the war hazards of Monkey Mountain, one memorable adventure stands out. Father Paquette offered Bill Kibble and me a “tour” of Catholic orphanages in his little Dalat automobile, plus some “sightseeing” outside the confines of DaNang. The priest slalomed his strange little car through civilian and military traffic to areas where no GI with common sense should have traveled without being accompanied by a swat team - all the while Father Paquette merrily repeating in his advanced Maurice Chevalier accent, “Never worry, never worry, we’ll be OK, these are my people.” Bill and I thought, “If the Viet Cong doesn’t get us, surely Father Paquette will!” Thirty-four years ago, but it seems like yesterday.

Eventually, I was transferred from Monkey Mountain to Pleiku Air Base in the central highlands to take command of Peacock Control, another manual control site - but Bill Kibble remained at Monkey Mountain.

When the “war ended” (well, that’s what they called it) with the “cease fire” in 1973, I was transferred from Pleiku, via Saigon, to the Udorn Royal Thai Air Base at in northeast Thailand near the Laotian border. I was assigned at Udorn to be a Battle Commander at Motel Alpha Control, a computerized detachment of Motel in Vietnam. As good luck would have it, Bill Kibble was also transferred to Udorn. There being no quarters available on base, Bill and I lived in a hotel in downtown Udorn, and then shared a Thai hootch near the base (directly under the flight path of F4s taking off from the base, water buffalo grazing near our hootch window).

During a short leave with my family in Ohio, I was granted a humanitarian leave extension to travel to March AFB in California, to be with my mother for her laryngectomy (removal of voice box) operation due to cancer. Then I received unexpected orders to proceed to a radar site at Sembach, Germany after my mother’s operation, rather than return to Thailand to complete my tour. As a result, poor Bill Kibble was stuck with packing up all my household goods in our hootch to ship home to me!

16 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Peterson said...

Hi guys! I Googled Motel Alpha and here you are. MAGIC. I'm Bill Peterson, formerly the Senior Director at MOTEL atop Monkey Mountain (after a few weeks doing GCI at Panama Control). I served from 1 June 1967 to 1 June 1968.
We had the world of TET 68, the Chicom shoot-down of Gunfighter69, the "Great NVAF air raid", LS 85 a few attacks at Da Nang, etc. Lots to talk about... Then I volunteered to be Project Director of RIVET GYM, EC-121 missions over Laos and SE of Haiphong in Tonkin Gulf covered callsign was ETHAN using CETF as a partner. Based at Korat RTAFB.

I've found a few "Sorry bout that" alumni/ 620th TCS.
Email me runes1@comcast.net

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a general-purpose mechanic, assigned to the 620th Tactical Air Control in Sept 1971. I was then reassigned to Detachment 3 and worked for a SSgt Carol Key. Sometime during the winter of 1971 we repositioned the living
quarters from the old area at Camp Evens to a new site more towards the center of the camp. About this time we were sharing the base with ARVN only.

Around February 1972 we closed up operations at Camp Evens and moved the back to Monkey Mountain where shortly after I became the NCOIC of the motor pool/vehicle maintenance. I returned stateside Aug 1972. Most of the guys
either backfilled in at the Mountain or received PCS orders and left for home. They issued me quarters in one of the barracks to the left going up the mountain but later my CES Commander had me move down to their area next the Chow Hall & Supply.

To the life of me, I'm having problems remembering the names of all these great guys. One friend Henry "Bernie" Schwartz work in the radar controller section and was married to a Pilipino girl who own some clubs in the Philippines. My Commander was a Major at Det 3 and had a French/Cajuin name.

There were three Vietnamese sisters who worked in the club and I hired their father to help me in the Motor Pool. After that they gave me free beer. I remember some kind of Fried Chicken & Onion platter you could get their.....it was excellant.....

I'm just getting around converting my 35mm Slides on my scanner to JPG. Look forward to hear from you......maybe share photos.

Bob (Tanker) Holt
crholt@verizon.net

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. my dad served in the Marines on Monkey Mountain near the end of the conflict. I am just curious to know if u knew him. His name is Noel Sauve, but most guys back then called him Kimo (said as kee mow). It'd be nice to meet someone who knew him during that time. If anyone does remember him, please e-mail me at darkfreedom2@msn.com. thank you.

4:30 PM  
Blogger macm05 said...

Hello. I am trying to find anyone who might have known my father who served on Monkey Mountain and was in the Army. He only would tell me a little about Monkey Mountain. Now that he is no longer with us I am trying to find out anything I can. His name was Milton B. Cleland.

7:19 AM  
Blogger macm05 said...

If anyone knows anything about my dad Email me at missienathanael@hotmail.com

7:23 AM  
Blogger Gene said...

My dad too was stationed at Monkey Mountain, as a radar tech. His name was Bill (or Gene) Trujillo. I don't have exact dates, but I know he was there for the Tet Offensive.

If you knew him at all, please contact gene.trujillo@gmail.com. Thanks.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I have a zippo lighter that was my Grandfather's.His name was James Geary.He was a B-17 pilot in WW2 and was on Monkey Mountain at some point.The lighter says 620th T.C.S.Any information would be appreciated.My email is BobGeary@Gmail.com

6:12 AM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

friends are the only people who lift your spirits, are very important!

7:30 AM  
Blogger Otter said...

I guess you've been there and done all of that. I was a crypto tech at Monkey Mtn & Bahn Me Thout from 1970-1971.What a life. Guess we all wound up lucky, Huh?

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a great relief to see pictures of Monkey Mountain. I feel now that my memories of that time are real. Thank you, Bob, for posting your pictures of Panama on Flicker. The Marines enjoyed their stay with the Air Force. Chipper was great welcoming agent for new arrivals (both officers and enlisted). I would like to converse (mghorton@cox.net)

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I arrived at DaNang as an Air Force Captain and pilot in November 1972 to fly with the 362nd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (TEWS) flying EC-47s. Most of us were transferred to NKP, Thailand (361st TEWS) as American forces were being moved out of Vietnam, and I finished my tour at Ubon, Thailand as hostilities kept moving South. Most of my last missions were over Cambodia. I created a memorial website for one of our crews lost over Saravane, Laos in early February 1973 and to honor all vets, especially those who did not return. You are welcome to visit anytime.

Bruce Obermeyer

The Promise Kept

9:16 AM  
Blogger JackieD said...

Hey, everyone. My name is jack phipps. was in the 620th Comm group and we kept all of your airforce communications going. worked both at the mountian and at Dong Ha.

Lots interesting stories about the Mt. But the one I have probable told the moth was about replacing the telephone cable (laying on the ground) from the top of the Mt. the base camp. Weather was 115% in the shade and 97% humidity and we started out with a quart of salt tablets per man. Worked three crews in 5 min. shifts. Damn was it hot.

The previous cable had been destroyed by the rock apes who thought it was a long black snake. They kept picking up large rocks and slamming into the cable.

Jack jphipps627@aol.com

11:44 AM  
Blogger LWRussell said...

I was on Monkey Mountain Jul-Oct 72 at Milky, the next mountain up from Panama. I recall being up there one night during a typhoon when we got word that Panama had been hit by a sapper attack. Were you by chance there then?
Leonard Russell
USAF SMsgt (ret)

8:35 AM  
Blogger William Bensel said...

I was there in 67-68 as a ground radio repairman SSGT. I helped set up & run the MARS station ( AI8AM) which brought joy to many of the surrounding troops. I also worked in the NCO club part time when I wasn't up top. Got to see and meet Nancy Sinatra when she came. Our base commander Lt Col Freddie Faupal(?) was able to get us pretty good entertainment most of the time. When I got there the new guys lived in tents until they wheeled and dealed moving into an old French barracks. The army started & finished the tropo site while I was there. We had a pet duck at the radio shack 'Bugs Duck' The tour was an experience that I will never forget. Friends will never be forgotton

2:31 PM  
Blogger Steve Hundiak said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Jim Hollabaugh I was in the Navy .. I was a neighbor to your air force radar station. We had the navy supply yard across the street at the base of Monkey Mountain. I was their from FEB 1966 TO DEC 1967. I met some of you Air Force Guys can not remember any names. We had several beers together all good.

6:42 PM  

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