Tom McHugh

HHC 1965 – 1966
[email protected]

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Photo is of a “Task-Force” made up of 327th and 502d dudes sent to Soui Cat to run patrols between the Michelle Rubber Plantation and the Cam Rahn Bay Supply Dump. This was during the spring monsoon and the time the 1st Brigade moved from Phan Rang to Tuy Hoi. The photo is of 2/327 guys (2nd squad), 1st platoon Task Force Fairbairn.

Commanded by 1LT Chuck Beegle (not shown). Left to Right: Maloney, Ackziene, Rhodes, Scaiffe (with ring finger), Barton, Hastey and McHugh

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Had orders for the 1st CAV out of the DOM-REP. & the 82d. Was there for nine months. At Camp Alpha my orders were changed to the 101st (thank GOD!!). Landing at Phan Rang Int’l Airport in the latest air contitioned C-123, all decked out in the latest designer color schemes – green, brown and black. The preceeding boonie rats had so quelled the hostile populace that the plane load of us were able to sit on the tarmac for 2 hours unarmed and unharmed. It was there that a M-151 came flying up with two Speedy-4’s asking for volunteers for the Recon Plt. Suffering from Heat Stroke I stumbled forward. I was whisked away to that beautiful paridise beyond the Air Farce E-M Club, passed the Eagle’s Nest to Tent City. Can you remember that lovely scene? Maybe a hundred OD tents covered in that fine talcum sand ground into existence by the multitude of different vehicles pounding up the road by the Bde. HQ. There was a quick intro and told to go down to supply and get a sheet of 1-125 Grid Squares. YYYAAAAHHHH! YYYAAAHHH!!! I KNOW!!

My first OP was Road Clearing from Phan Rang to Phan Thiet. And where I officially got my CIB . . . that looked so great with my novice jump wings. After returning to P-R the Recon Plt. was separated from its gound radar unit SP/5 Hart & SP/4 Williams) and formed into 5-6 man recon units called, “Hawk Teams”. That meant no more Motor Pooling details. Shortly thereafter, that group was further split. The majority going to a place called, Tuy Hoa and some went to Task Force Fairbairn. So from Feb. to Apr. a detachment made up of 1st, 2nd 327th and 02 dudes made ambush patrols out of Sui Cat. Immediately south of the Michelene Plantation on Rt-1 near Cam Rahn Bay. The Hilite being OPs run with A-502 SF, NHA Trang.

In April we were rejoined to our parent units. The Hawks were active in the Tuy Hoa, North-South area. Then in the Tuy Ahn and Loung Trung Valley and West area. I left “The Bde” three months early (what?) for time off for services in the Dom-Rep. I never figured that one out. Is that like a 1-125,000 grid square?