Sgt John AndersonAN/MPQ-4A Radar Section 

My Arrival

LZ Mile High was over near the Cambodian Border. It was higher up and overlooking LZ 14 (aka "LZ Incoming").  I flew into Bien Hoa Airbase in September, 1967. I spent about two weeks "in country orientation" at Bien Hoa (I got my first taste of RVN when the perimeter was breached at the dump), convoyed from Bien Hoa to An Khe to pick up convoy elements, then on to Duc Pho. We left Duc Pho and headed for Camp Enari.  I spent some time at Pleiku before heading by "chopper" to LZ Mile High. I am still piecing together the timelines).  We got up there as the EOD was clearing the LZ. I was put in the AN/MPQ-4A Radar section as a Radar Mechanic, in support of what later became LZ 14 (the designator changed a few times due to "Charlie" and "Nathan").  Originally the "Herd" was on LZ 14, our 3/8th Infantry and eventually our "C" Btry 2/9 Arty.  During our stay on Mile High our CWO was Mr. Franklin and our section chief was SSgt. Tabonnamah (sp?).  We were with "A" Btry 2/9 Arty for awhile. Other members of the Radar Section were Sp4 Patterson, John Toucharde, Dudley our generator mechanic (only knew him by his nickname), SSG James Starley (photo below; he replaced SSG Tabonnamah)  and 6 other operators. 

Visiting Celebrities

While on Mile High, we were visited by Fess Parker, Ann Margaret, Martha Raye and a few other celebrities. When we left Mile High, we went to Kontum for a short TDY, then on to LZ Duc Co (just west of the village of Duc Co).  Lt. Stacey was our radar officer for a short time before going out as an FO to "season up". We were at Duc Co with a unit of the 5th Special Forces and an ARVN Mortar and grunt company. At Duc Co we were involved with the intel work gathering info on an NVA armored division just across the border.  Toward the end of our stay at Duc Co the "Green Berets" left in the middle of the night and we had the ARVN's protecting us (major nerves time). They had extracted our Q-4 Radar and we stayed behind with our equipment CONEXs. We were hit during the night by an NVA unit.  We helped the Vietnamese man the "tubes" inside the wire (bad nightmare time). During the rest of my 1-1/2 year TDY we were at LZ Marylou, LZ Cacti, LZ Whitehorse and a few other LZ's that I can't remember. I was wounded in March, 1969 and "evac'ed" to the field hospital in Nha Trang then on to Camp Drake, Japan. I was sent back to Oakland Army Depot on board a C-141 Hospital Plane from Camp Drake, to ETS.  I spent my "out of country R&R" in Tokyo (1968) and my 30 day leave (for extending 6 months) in California and Oregon. Then back to Vietnam for the 5 or 6 months before going to Camp Drake.

 

              SSG James Starley

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