ACTIVITIES AT VINH LONG COMPOUND
 

A. Command and Administration

1.  Major Roger L. LaCourse assumed command of the 175th Avn Co (AML) on 15 July 1966 and was relieved by Major William J. Meehan on 7 March 1967 and completed this reporting period in that capacity.

2.  In addition to commanding the company and the attached units, the company commander participates in airmobile assault operations by flying the C&C  aircraft.   When he is not required as mission commander, he also flies with both the armed and transport platoons in order to better understand the overall requirements of the aviation company.

3.  The company commander is assisted by the executive officer.  During the period covered by this report the position of executive officer was held by Major Robert V. Blake until he was relieved by Major James T. McQueen on 1 February 1967.

4.  The  Operations officer is responsible for coordinating all activities with respect to airmobile operations performed by the company as well as maintaining all flight records for the company.  This position was held by Major Donald T. Casper until he was relieved by Major Robert F. O'Kane on
12 January 1967.

5.  The intelligence officer is responsible for the assimilation and dissemination of intelligence information and assists the operations officer in the planning and programming of airmobile
operations.  Captain William E. Stout has been the intelligence officer since 5 December, 1966 and completed this reporting period in that capacity.

6.  Platoon Leaders:  Within the platoons the first platoon was commanded by Captain Ray S. Leuty from 18 November 1966 to present.

7. The second platoon was commanded by Major Robert F. O'Kane until he was relieved by Captain Louis C. Paulin on 12 January 1967.  On 15 February 1967, Major Juri Toomepuu relieved Captain Paulin and served in this capacity through the completion of this reporting period.

8. The third (Armed) platoon was commanded  by Major Jerome G. Hileman until 18 February 1967 when he was relieved by Major Charles D. Gordon.  Major Gordon was in command of the third platoon upon completion of this reporting period.

9.  The supply officer is responsible for all logistical functions within the company.  WO George M. Mikuchonis served as supply officer during this period.

10.  The service platoon, augmented by the 150th Transportation Detachment provided necessary maintenance functions for aircraft organic to the company.  In addition, a maintenance aircraft (call- sign Roadrunner) accompanied the transport and armed platoons on all combat assault missions to provide "in the field Maintenance" when required.  The service platoon was commanded by
Major Robert H. Millward, CE.

11.  The 28th Signal Detachment provided avionics and signal maintenance service for the company. A representative from the detachment accompanied Roadrunner on all combat assault operations. The detachment was commanded by WO Thomas H. Wingfield, who held this position during this reporting period.

12.  The position of flight surgeon was held by Captain Thomas J. Rose, until he was relieved by Captain John R. Hillegas on 21 Feb 67.  The position of installation dentist was held by Captain Robert J. Brooks, DSC.
 

B. Operations

1.  Personnel of the 175th Avn Co (AML) and the 114th Avn Co jointly manned and operated the dispatch office, control tower, POL facilities, fire station, and ammunition dump.

2.  The operations officer was responsible for the successful coordination of flight requirements and maintenance of flight and operation records.  He was assisted by the intelligence officer in manning the operations office on a 24 hour basis, either by being physically present or on immediate call for any situation that might arise.

C. Consolidated Maintenance

Supporting the heavy operational demands of the company and aircraft required many long hours of work by the maintenance and service personnel.  The bulk of this load fell upon the 150th Transportation Detachment (CHFM).  On all major troop lift operations a maintenance team from the 150th was flown to the staging area where it provided emergency repairs on the spot, aided in the recovery of downed aircraft, and determined whether or not a damaged aircraft could be safely flown to the base airfield.  The appearance of  "Roadrunner"  became a frequent and welcome sight in the operational area.

D. Logistical Support

Logistical support for the company was no small task.  Since transportation by road was unsafe, nearly all supplies and equipment were flown in or brought in by water transportation.  Being fifty miles away from the logistical support facilities in Saigon, a liaison team from the 13th Aviation Battalion was established in Saigon to coordinate and expedite logistical resupply.  Air transportation was our primary means of movement; and daily, large quantities of supplies, including ammunition and rations, arrived at Vinh Long on scheduled flights by USAF CV-2B "Caribous" and other transport aircraft.  Organic aircraft were also used frequently as gap fillers.  Bulk POL products were transported by commercial vehicles with water transportation being used as the principal means of ammunition resupply.

E. Medical Support

The 83rd Medical Detachment operated a dispensary and provided primary medical services, including sanitation services, preventative medicine service physical examination, aeromedical evacuation, and emergency treatment.  The flight surgeon and members of his team participated in many combat support missions when they felt their services were needed.  On major troop lift operations they accompanied the flights to the staging areas where they were able to administer emergency treatment when required.  In addition, an 82nd Medical Detachment evacuation helicopter (call sign Dust Off) flew with the platoon on all operations

F. Area Facilities

1.  Installation personnel live in semi-permanent buildings constructed with cement floors, board walls and tin roofs.  The individuals soon interjected their own personalities into the hootches and living became quite comfortable.  Construction of additional "hootches", offices, hangars and aircraft parking facilities is continuing.

2.  The office of the installation coordinator was established soon after the arrival of the 62nd Avn Co and the senior company commander was assigned this additional duty.  The 175th Avn Co (AML) was responsible for the administration of this office.  The function of the installation coordinator was to facilitate administrative and logistical support for the two companies and their attached units at Vinh Long, thus relieving the individual units from the consuming task of internal housekeeping.

3.  Among the areas of interest undertaken were:  internal security, indigenous labor, repairs and utilities, post exchange, clubs and messes, supply, impress fund, pass policy, installation communications system, real estate and safety.

G. Special Services

Motion pictures made available through Special Services, were shown in the compound theater nightly and frequent USO shows provided live entertainment for the men.  The theater was remodeled providing additional seating capacity and greater comfort.

H.  Mail, always an important morale factor, was processed at the APO operated by detachment 29, 11th Air Postal Squadron.  Mail service was rapid and efficient with letters often arriving at Vinh Long three or four days after they were mailed in the States.  The Vinh Long address is APO San Francisco 96357.

I.  Post Exchange

Within the compound, a post exchange (PX) was operated by installation personnel and open daily.  It filled the men's essential needs, and stocked many luxury items such as radios, watches, cameras, recorders, etc.  A Vietnamese owned and operated PX provided availability for procurement of Vietnamese items of culture and interest.

J.  Clubs

Both officer and enlisted clubs were operated on the compound for the benefit and pleasure of all personnel.  The "Tie One On" enlisted Club and the "Mekong Manor" officers club provided refreshments and the most comfortable surroundings in the area.  These clubs provided mess facilities for unit COLA personnel, while a consolidated mess served the enlisted men's dietary needs.

K.  Religious Services

1.  Father (Capt) Logue, Chaplain Corps, a resident of the compound, held Catholic services each Sunday and Chaplain (Capt) Ermine Todd Jr., Chaplin Corps, from Soc Trang, conducted Protestant services.

2.  Mid-week services held each Wednesday night inspired fellowship and worship through song and bible study.  The chapel remains open 24 hours daily, always ready to fulfill the religious needs of installation personnel.


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