My Catlai Vacation Web Site Contributors...


If you were at Cat Lai, and you have something you would like to share on this site, please contact me. Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy!

Jerry Simmons
Cat Lai (01/1967-09/1968) Thanks for stopping by!

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My Catlai Vacation Web Site Contributors...

Archie Gordon (1967-1968) Archie Gordon 1967-1968

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Here are a few pictures taken at Cat Lai during May 1967-May 1968.

These photos were provided by Archie Gordon.

He was a member of 124th Trans Co stationed at Cat Lai.

The time frame will be from Thanksgiving ‘67 through mid summer ‘69. Some show results of fighting near Newport during the ‘68 Tet offensive. Modern maps have changed the names of everything I could use as reference points. If you recall passing over the Newport bridge and taking the first right on the road to Tan Son Nhut airbase you’ll know the neighborhood those scenes are from. I was taking someone to the airbase from Cat Lai at the end of the fighting. Had to wait a bit at an intersection as not all the action was quite over. As I was driving through in a jeep a tracer round passed between my nose and the windshield. I looked at my passenger and asked “Did you see that?” No he didn’t. He’d his eyes closed for the past twenty minutes.

Interesting trivia – Shortly after I arrived at the 124th the mail clerk –I can’t remember his name – tall slender guy with glasses and very blond hair – asked me who I knew from Howbert Ave in Roanoke, VA. I replied – “well, my mom and a few friends”. My home was in the 1100 block of Howbert. The mail clerk lived in the 900 block of the same street. He was a couple years older than me – you know how much of a difference that can make at that age – and we’d never met. We went to the same high school, had many of the same friends and yet had never met before Cat Lai and the 124th. Howbert Ave was only four blocks long.

Thanks Archie!


Kenneth Allen (1967-1968) kennethallen-1967-1968

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Here are a few pictures taken at Cat Lai during May 1967-May 1968.

These photos were provided by Kenneth Allen.

He was a member of 124th Trans Co stationed at Cat Lai.

These pictures bring back a lot of good memories for me, as I was there at the same time and know most of the people in the pictures!

Thanks Kenneth!


Steve Anderson (1971) Steve Anderson-1971

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Here are a few pictures taken at Cat Lai during 1971.

These photos were provided by Steven Anderson.

He was a member of MACV stationed at Cat Lai.

Thanks Steve!


Mike Bogle (1966-1967) Mike Bogle-1966-67

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I was in the 117th arriving in country January 1966. We shifted to Cat Lai and I have some early snaps. I didn't take very many photos but kept these.

I volunteered for the night shift at Saigon port and stayed on it, working at Warehouse 13 for the duration. The last warehouse on the pier, too dark and too far for the brass to tour. People kept saying, 'hey, you want to shift to days now?' Don't have specific dates but you might recognise some of the scenery.

Best wishes...Mike

Thanks Mike!

Patsy Brown-Snipes (2009) Patsy Brown-Snipes

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Here are some pictures taken at Cat Lai on December 29, 2000.

These photos were generously provided by Patsy Brown-Snipes.

Here is the content of an email Patsy shared with me:

"My husband, LTC Norman Brown, was Bn Cdr of the 11th Bn the last half of l967.

I have just returned from VN and visited Cat Lai.

The Bn area is now a Vietnamese Base. They would not let me in under any circumstance.

I took pictures through the gate and from a nearby ferry slip."

Thank you Patsy!


Russ Donnici (1970-1971) Cat Lai Gate - 1971

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Cat Lai Gate - 1971 - Do you know these GIs?

Hello all!

I arrived Nov 14, 1970 and left a year later. Here is a picture of the Cat Lai gate.

Take care,

Russ


Jack Ezell (1967-1968) Jack Ezell -1967

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Jack Ezell 1967-1968 Jack Ezell 1967-1968 Dennis Hartman and Jack Ezell Bello(PA), Hartman(IL), Compassi(NJ), Fronek(OH) Laidler(MI), Austin(NC), Hice(AL) Cochoran(MI) Laidler(MI) Ron Percy(CA) Jack Ezell(PA) Ray Compassi(NJ) Compassi(NJ) and Akin(AL) Ward(AR) 199th Lt Infantry @ Cat Lai 199th Lt Infantry @ Cat Lai 199th Lt Infantry @ Cat Lai Bobby Bramer(VA) Fronek(OH), Laidler(MI), Hartman(IL) Bowman(OH), Hartman(IL) Jack Ezell(PA) Local(Unknown), Ron Grassulo, Jack Ezell, Do you know this GI? Main Street - Cat Lai 1967 Pet Monkey On way to salvage ammo from ambushed barge Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site Activities at ambushed barge salvage site LZ for 199th Light Infantry @ Cat Lai LZ for 199th Light Infantry @ Cat Lai LZ for 199th Light Infantry @ Cat Lai LZ for 199th Light Infantry @ Cat Lai US and ARVN Navy Gun Boats US and ARVN Navy Gun Boats US and ARVN Navy Gun Boats US and ARVN Navy Gun Boats US and ARVN Navy Gun Boats Unknown Army unit passing through Cat Lai Unknown Army unit passing through Cat Lai Unknown Army unit passing through Cat Lai Unknown Army unit passing through Cat Lai Tower on Cat Lai pier - Unknown GI on left - Dennis Manley(CA) on right Jack Ezell - I can't believe I ate the food! Danny Cochoron(MI) and Jack Ezell(PA) You are building what? Hartman and Kruzinski Anyone know who this guy is? Local kids Local kids Local kids Local kids Photo back side Photo back side Perimeter duty Jack Ezell - perimeter duty Mills and Bates Lucas and Moate Fronek Crane accident Local kid

Jack served from January 1967 - January 1968. These pictures have a lot of familiar faces to me, as this is the time I was at Cat Lai.

If you knew Jack and would like to get in contact with him, just contact me and I will get you in touch with him. Thanks Jack for holding on to all these pictures and sharing with everyone.


Michael Frank (1966-1967) Michael Frank

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Here are a few pictures, some taken at Cat Lai and Ton Son Nut

These photos were provided by Michael Frank.

He was a member of 377th Trns Air Force.

Thanks Michael!

Here is a note from Michael:

"Gary Cortner and I are trying to locate all personnel assigned SPECIAL EXPRESS at Cat Lai Vietnam. This is boatmen and drivers plus air police assigned to us. Were you there?"

If you were and would like to contact Michael or Gary, send me an email and I will put you in touch with Michael.


Michael Jennings (1968-1969) Cat Lai barge and radio tower

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Picture of ST 2111 after rocket attack. Picture of ST 2111 after rocket attack. Cat Lai barge and radio tower

Here is a note from Mike:

My first two months I was on the crew of the ST2111. I spent many nites in Cat Lai transferring barges from buoys to ships. In the morning, we will tow the barges down river to Codigdo.

While on the tug, I was very lucky. The ST2111 was a bad luck tug. It was hit a week before I was assigned and a month after I was transferred to the supply room at U.S. Harborcraft co at Camp Davies...

The first attack, a rocket into the wheelhouse, killed a WO and an enlisted man.

Mike


Dominic Lombardi (1968-1969) Dom Lombardi

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Hi all!

I don't know if you remember me but I was the guy from NYC (Bronx).

I also had a puppy named 'Cat'.

I also transported troops to Saigon and surrounding areas by LCM.

Check out my video below.
Download your own copy below!

Regards, Dom

Preview Dom's Video*

Preview Dominicks video

Click on image
to start preview

1.23 Mb download
* © "Holy Ground" Dominic Lombardi

Download Full Video>

This video was taken by and supplied by Dominic Lombardi Taken at Cat Lai in 1968.

Originally taken as Super 8 film, then transferred to VHS, and now digitized and available for download - free! The video quality is not up to today's standards, but this video is nearly 45+ years old. If you were at Cat Lai these clips will bring back memories.

Don't just look at the people, pause, and look around. You will see things you probably had forgotten.

Great job Dom!


15 Mb download - Elapsed playing time: 21 minutes

* © "Holy Ground" Dominic Lombardi

> Digital Conversion by: MAXMARK Studios, Olympia WA <


Jerry Long (1967-1968) Jerry Long


Jacques 'Frenchie' Montaufray (1969-1970) Jacques Montaufray, Cat Lai, 1969 - 1970

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Here are a couple pictures provided by Frenchie:

Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969

Jacques 'Frenchie' Montaufray served in Cat Lai 1969-1970.

Here is a note from Frenchie:

I was there with the 1099th TC I'm 69-70.

I do remember it being less tents more barracks and HQ in the background of a lot of pictures had a new roof and paint job.

In 1970 we finally got showers. Still cold but at least we could clean up a little.

Being on the boats I was rarely at base camp and was always glad to be on the rivers even though they were more dangerous, but we had no bullshit on the rivers and MIckey Mouse was nota round.


Thanks for sharing Frenchie!

James Owens (1968-1969) James Owens, Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969

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Here are some pictures provided by James:

James Owens, Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Along Highway 1, 1968 - 1969 Along Cat Lai Road, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969 Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969

In Jan. 1969 when we were hit by NVA. I was a gunner on a 50 cal. This was the fist time I was able to see Puff in action. These were some of the items captured.

Jan 1969 NVA Captured items Jan 1969 NVA Captured items Jan 1969 NVA Captured items Jan 1969 NVA Captured items

James Owens served in Cat Lai from 10/68-08/69.

Here is a note from James:

I got to Cat Lai early October 1968. I was assigned to the 1099th for a very short time and then to 11th.TC. My MOS was 76Y, Supply but when I got to Cat Lai, they had sent two Supply Clerks and they only needed one. The Supply SGT. flipped a coin and I lost. I never did work in Supply but made SGT E-5 before I left Nam. I got out of the Army in May, 1970.

I left Cat Lai at the end of August 1969. They were starting the early out and since I had more than eight months in country, I got an early out. I was in Bien Hoa one day and found out I was to go home the next day. It did take me three days to get out of country. I landed in California on Labor Day 1969.


Thanks for sharing James!

Steve Pence (1966-1967) Steve Pence, Cat Lai, 1966 - 1967

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Steve Pence -1966 Steve Pence- today 117th Trans Co behind 11th Trans Bn HQ - 1966 Christmas Day - 1966 Front of 11th Trans Bn HQ - 1966 Front of 11th Trans Bn HQ - 1966 McAfee from South Portland, Maine Steve Pence 1966 - 1967 Jerry Bridges, 1966 - 1967 Do you know this GI? Cat Lai 1967 Vance and Art Malzon Volleyball on Thanksgiving Day - 1966 Chuck Plummage.  He was a great friend.  He's an American Indian and lives in Harlem, Montana.  He was elected Chief of his tribe.  A great honor Chuck Plummage and you guessed it..... the great mail man, Larry Vail.  Larry lived in Chicago, IL

Hello all!

You may know some of the people. These were from late 1966 to late 1967. There were no tents behind HQ when we arrived.

Take care,

Steve


Martin Ravine (1968-1969) Martin Ravine, Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969

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Martin Ravine, Cat Lai, 1968 - 1969. Picture of ST 2111 after rocket attack. A bit destorted by age, but that's me standing and I truly don't remember my partners name, but this is in the tower. This is me just out in front of the armory and behind me is barricks #1. To the left is part of the day room and where Staff Sgt Pultzer sleeps. 11th Trans. Bat. is at far ground. The motor pool in the far ground. This photo was taken from the 1099th side, the pier with the tower to the left and one of 3 Victory Ships anchored. This is where the 1099th medium boat co. stayed, I really loved going out on the LCM-8 boats. This is the main gate, to the right would be the messhall and small PX, and if my memory serves me wright, the NCO club is just outside the gate to the right.

Martin Ravine served in Cat Lai from 8/68-8/69.

Here is a note from Martin:

I' am a Californian, but I actually joined the Army in Denver, Colorado June 1967. I took basic training at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and AIT at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. I took two AIT schools (Radio Operator School & Cook School). Stayed at Ft. Dix after AIT, permanent duty at a basic training unit. June 1968, received orders for Vietnam, arrived in the country August 31, 1968, Long Binh Depot, and from their strait to Cat-Lai. Would have arrived in the Country on the 30th, but we had to turn around and go back to Clark airbase do to Long Binh was being attacked by motor and rocket fire. I had a few different duties while at Cat-Lai. First 41/2 months I ran ration runs into Saigon and back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and on Tuesdays, and Thursdays I went back to Saigon for condiments, all for the mess hall. During some of those condiment runs, we ( my driver and I ), took detours to To-Do street for some little fun before returning to Cat-Lai before dusk. During some of those runs, we received some sniper fire towards our way, the shots could have been met for us or the ARVN trucks that was using the same road, we don't know, but our truck got hit a few times, talk about close encounters. The next 31/2 months I worked as office clerk with the 124th. And the last 4 months worked at the tower on the radio, working 12 hours on and 12 hours off some times 14 hours and rotating shifts at times. Some of those hours that I had off, I was able to take trips with the 1099th. I was just one of few who was able to leave the Cat-Lai area, taking trips to Long Binh, Tan Son Nhut ( where the larger Px was ), Saigon (To-Do street). I remember Saturday night movies at the EM club, and sometimes swimming at the pool next to Battalion HQ. I was promoted to Specialist 4 the second month I was there. I can't remember if it was the first or second week of August that we were attacked by motor and rocket fire, and one of the Victory Ships that was being unloaded was hit by a rocket round, luckily that ship was just finished about a few hours before the attack. We also had a lot of rounds that it our compound. Well, to tell you, I was getting to short for this, so I was able to leave the country and back to the world 6 days early.

Martin


Thanks for sharing Martin!

Dick Roller (1966-1967) From Dick Roller (1966-1967)

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Sunken freighter in the Song Nha Be - 1966 Sunken freighter in the Song Nha Be - 1966 Sunken freighter in the Song Nha Be - 1966 Sunken freighter in the Song Nha Be - 1966

I lived across the river from Cat Lai, in Nhon trach District. Was the MACV District Senior Advisor during the last half of 66. Always passed through Cat Lai on our way to and from Bien Hoa.

There was an ammo handling unit base located in Nhon Trach. Tanh Thuy Ha comes to mind. An ARVN unit was co-located there also. They had a water treatment unit with them and were the source for our potable water. Since we were a small, isolated, 5-man advisory team, we relied on them for scrounging whatever rations they could spare. Since we ran ambushes and other combat operations with our Vietnamese troops, we collected and traded VC flags and other war trophies for food and ammunition. We were considered to be expendable, but we loved what we were doing, loved our Vietnamese troopers and loved the Vietnamese people. Even though we lived on the edge, life was meaningful. We all lost a lot of weight, but life was good.

The pictures are of a sunken freighter in the Song Nha Be. They were taken while crossing the river on the ferry.

Take care,

Honolulu Dick


Thanks for sharing Dick!

Jim Schaefer Jim Schaefer

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"I am accepting it on behalf of those who served in the Vietnam and Gulf War."

Jim Schaefer
Purple Heart Recipient


CPT Charles R. Shrader-1967 CPT Charles R. Shrader-1967

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11th Trans Bn (Tml) Change of Command Ceremony, 1966/67, either at Cat Lai or M&M Area of Saigon Port.  From Left to Right:  LTC James Fleming (outgoing CO, 11th Trans Bn), COL Jack Fuson (CO, 4th Trans Cmd), and LTC Thomas Hoy (incoming CO, 11th Trans Bn). L.-R.:  CPT Chuck Andrean (CO, 117th Trans Co), CPT Tom Sheldon (CO, 124th Trans Co), and CPT Reg Shrader (CO, HHD, 11th Trans Bn), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 L.-R.:  LTC Thomas Hoy (CO, 11th Trans Bn) and MAJ Kevin Maher (XO, 11th Trans Bn), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 MAJ Art Hull (S-3, 11th Trans Bn), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 CPT 'Doc' Galvin (Surgeon attached to 11th Trans Bn), Cat Lai, ca. 1967. L.-R.:  CPT Tom Sheldon (CO, 124th Trans Co) and WO Lively (Bn Maint Officer), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 L.-R.:  CPT Reg Shrader (Bn Adj) and CPT Dick Cunningham (Bn Asst S-3), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 LT Miller (HQ 11th Trans Bn), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 L.-R.:  CWO Atlee Troyer (Bn Personnel Officer) and LT 'Bull' ???, Cat Lai, ca. 1967 L.-R.:  SP4 Wyse (Bn CO’s Driver) and PFC Chuck Plumage (Bn Legal Clerk), Cat Lai, ca. 1967 CPT Charles R. Shrader, Bn Adjutant and CO, HHD, 11th Trans Bn (Tml) Cat Lai, February 1967 Aerial view of Cat Lai, ca. 1967.  The 11th Trans Bn (Tml) HQ is the large building at center right, with tents/hooches behind (toward river).  The area to the right of the HQ building was where the HQ of the 199th Lt Inf Bde was located.  The two large buildings in the center are old French seaplane hangers.  Other buildings were part of 11th Trans Bn area or belonged to RVN Army 100th Ordnance Arsenal Another view of Cat Lai, ca. 1967 The tents/hooches where the companies were billeted at Cat Lai, ca. 1967 If you don’t know what this is, you weren’t there!! Maids on the veranda of the BOQ at Cat Lai, ca. 1967 Outdoor theater at Cat Lai, ca. 1967.  Strange.  I cannot remember ever seeing a movie there, although I am sure I must have done so. Some of you may remember the Indian entrepreneur who ran the laundry/tailor shop at Cat Lai, ca. 1967 My room in the BOQ at Cat Lai, ca. 1967 Cartoon, ca. 1967

I joined the 117th Transportation Company (Terminal Service) as a Platoon Leader in June 1966 in Saigon. I worked mostly in Area 3 of the main port at night for a couple of months before being reassigned to the 124th Transportation Company (Terminal Service) as a Platoon Leader and OIC at the ammunition port of Nha Be. In February 1967, I was promoted to Captain and was again reassigned to HQ 11th Transportation Battalion (Terminal) at Cat Lai as Battalion Adjutant and Commander, HQ and HQ Detachment. I served at Cat Lai until June 1967 when I returned to the States. I had a second tour with the 48th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) at Long Binh in 1968–69, but that is another story.

After forty-three years I can say I rather enjoyed my time in the 11th Trans Bn. Junior officers, NCOs, and even some PFCs were given a lot of responsibility in those days when the massive buildup in Vietnam was just beginning. As the OIC at Nha Be, I ran the third largest tonnage port in Viet Nam as a 1LT, and the job I did in Saigon Port as a Lieutenant in 1966 was done by a Lieutenant Colonel and two Majors in 1968.

When I was first assigned to the 117th in June 1967 we lived in a newly (but poorly) built “hotel” not far from the M&M piers. I then went to the 124th where we lived in tents on the grounds of the old M&M company headquarters, then the HQ for the Military Sealift Command, which meant we were constantly battling the Navy weenies over the use of their flush toilets and shower in the HQ building. I got to Cat Lai not long after the 11th Trans Bn moved out there. As I am sure you all know, Cat Lai had been a French Navy seaplane base during the First Indochina War, and I am told they flew missions over Dien Bien Phu from there, but it seems a little far to fly if you ask me. At Cat Lai, the Battalion HQ was on the first floor of the old French barracks building, and the BOQ was on the upper floor. The companies were billeted in tents that were erected between the HQ building and the river. For the life of me, I cannot remember where I ate. I suppose it was in one of the company messes, although the HQ officers often cooked for ourselves in the BOQ.

We had neighbors at Cat Lai. The Vietnamese Army 100th Ordnance Arsenal, which supposedly produced small arms ammunition, although I never saw any such work being done, “owned” the installation. Soon after the 11th Trans Bn got to Cat Lai, the HQ of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade moved in next door. As I recall, we had more interaction with the Vietnamese of the 100th Ordnance Arsenal than with the 199th---unless they wanted something, such as lumber.

The truth is that I didn’t take many pictures in 1966–67. But here are a cartoon and a few snapshots that have survived.

Enjoy!
Reg Shrader
(117th and 124th Trans Cos and HHD, 11th Trans Bn, 1966-67)

“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’s Great Grandson”

by Reg Shrader

The authors of the 1968 U.S. government handbook for North Viet Nam proclaimed that reptiles were seldom seen and that deaths from snakebite were rare. Vietnamese, French, Japanese, British, and American soldiers who have “humped” the jungles and paddies of Viet Nam (or inhabited its base camps) are probably a bit more aware of the dangers of the native Vietnamese reptile population. In fact, one authority has stated that there are thirty–eight species of poisonous snakes plus twenty–three species of poisonous sea snakes to be found in Indochina and its coastal waters...Read more (PDF Download)


Story and Photos © 2011 Charles R. Shrader

“The Dragon Lady Makes an Offer”

by Reg Shrader

In the spring of 1971, the US news media were in a feeding frenzy over the criminal conduct of a few American officers and senior NCOS caught up in an enormous scandal that involved skimming cash, payoffs, and kickbacks associated with the officer/NCO club system in Viet Nam. The Senate conducted a probing investigation that resulted in at least one brigadier general, Earl F. Cole, losing his star, and in the criminal indictment of Sergeant Major of the Army William O. Woolridge and other senior NCOS. In the course of Senate testimony regarding contracts and the club system on Long Binh Post, a name frequently mentioned was Madame Phuong, otherwise known as the “Dragon Lady” ... Read more (PDF Download)


Story and Photos © 2010 Charles R. Shrader

Looking for - can you help? Looking for


Looking for and trying to find...

Entries listed here are from those who ventured through Cat Lai and are now trying to make contact with someone. If you know any of those listed here, or have comment, please email me and I will help put you in touch with them. If you are looking for someone that was at Cat Lai, send me the information and I will post it here.

............

Did you know Eldon Ellis?

Did you know or do you remember Eldon Ellis while in Cat Lai? Eldon served from January 1968 - January 1969. If you knew Eldon while in Cat Lai, please contact me. My email address is azitiz@comcast.net

...........

Please Help Me find...

First of all, I would like to introduce you about myself. My name is Van Nguyen, I am recently living with my husband and two wonderful children, Chris and Valerie in Nothern Virginia for almost 20 years.

My father is American and served in Vietnam in 66-68. From what I have been told, he was stationed in Cat Lai at the time I was born, July, 1967. After 1968, we lost contact with him until the day I left Vietnam. I came to the States in 1991 and have been searching for him for years.

My father was with US troops at Cat Lai. Also, based on what I have known, he was called "Phao", which was probably a Vietnamese adaptation of his name on his uniform. I am sending you an old photo of my mom (This photo from her ID from 1969).

In 1968, (Tet Offensive), all of the documents were detroyed in the fire and we lost all of my father's information. According to my mom and her siblings, he was a big man, and the name on his uniform had about 4 or 5 letters: PHAL, PHAUL OR PHAOL. The backyard of his parents' house were full of orange trees, so I thought his hometown might be in Florida or California (not sure). When he met my mom, she lived with my grandmother, and her house was close to Thi Nghe bridge and the zoo across from it. The day I was born, my father was there and named me Linda. Based on what I have heard, he went back and forth between the U.S and Vietnam every 3 months or so. (Pretty much like an officer, not sure).

When my father left Vietnam, he took a couple of my birth certificates and a lot of my toddler photos with him. He also gave me an American name, "Linda".

My full name on the birth certificate is: Nguyen Thi Bich Van / DOB: July 01, 1967 / Place of birth: Saigon, in a small private hospital named MINH TAM

My hope is that I would like to know how is my father doing right now, if he either survived or died in the Vietnam war. Please help me to find him if you have any information. Thank you very much. Van Nguyen


Me in front of Vinh Nghiem Temple in Saigon, June of 1990 My mother-ID photo from 1969

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