Vietnam

Eagle Flight
3rd Security Police Squadron
Biên Hòa AB, SVN

Outside the Wire!

by Dave Ware,
Biên Hòa 1967-1969
© 2002

 

 

My name is Dave Ware. I and another SP were awarded the Bronze Star w/Valor in May of 1967 while assigned to the 3rd SPS Biên Hòa. Col Catledge presented the award. The other Airman awarded may have been "Combs", possibly "Paul", can't remember.

We both were involved in combat action on May 12, 1967, the same night that Horace Holbrook was KIA. I responded to Ron Peterson's account of my being seriously wounded, but in fact the guy he referred to as me was named Thomas, but it may have been Dennis Hahn. I carried Thomas on my shoulder and remember getting a mouth and face full of blood from his severe wounds. I was injured, but not seriously. The SP I removed from the fire and incoming rounds was someone I did not know that well.

I was also one of the first to check on Holbrook, but he was ripped apart. I grabbed his fatique shirt, but his body did not stay in it. He was a mess and died instantly from a direct hit. Wish I could remember specifically, but I was kind'a banged up and had a concussion. Somebody remembers, I am sure.

I have a few photos(one of Robert Bridges, who was killed by a lightning strike while in a tower). Most of my photos and such were lost in the attack and I never had the opportunity or desire to gather many others. Maybe I can acquire a digital camera and take photos of the photos and download them someday.

We were also members of "Eagle Flight" which was set up by Col Miller and did many patrols and sweeps outside the Biên Hòa complex. I seem to have heard that Col Miller got his butt in a trick bag with 7th Air Force because some of his boys were going out looking for the VC. We were all volunteers and selected by Col Miller and Capt John Maisey (who was killed during TET). I also remember going through the 173rd Airborne In-country Initialization and Jungle Warfare Course near Long Binh, and going out on overnight operations by chopper and combat patrols. I have often wondered how Col Miller was doing and have wished to express my gratitude for his leadership.

I and others spent some time at a nearby leper colony northwest of Biên Hòa and were flown out by Air Force Kaman Rescue choppers or Air America choppers (UH1). It was a unique place that was often overrun by the VC and was manned by Ruff Puffs and a few (5th) Army Special Forces. I went there at least three times in support of the compound, maybe more. We came into the compound in the pretense of being Red Cross and hid our weapons so as not to draw unwarranted attention when we landed. Rather odd operation and secretive. I also remember a Capt Blair who was involved, but he was not assigned to the 3rd SPS.

I do remember we were highly motivated and received a lot of compliments from the 173rd Instructors and Platoon Sergeants regarding our ability and dedication and discipline.

I currently live near Atlanta and fly EMS Medevac helicopters. Just a little info for you.

Take care,

Dave Ware

 

 

LTC Miller confirmed everything David spoke of above. He doesn't remember David but
attributes that to old age. LTC Miller will be completing a photo journal by the end of the month and wants us to have a copy. He did mention that he would see me at the Reunion in October. I'll send a copy of his letter to you in case you want to use parts of it on the web site.
Don Graham,
VSPA Historian

The "Battle for Saigon" book refers to the 3rd SPS attending the 173rd Jungle School and making a combat patrol as the final exam.
Steve Ray

 
Music & © 1998, by J. Eshleman, ll BMI
All music is played by permission of the composers and copyright holders.
© Vietnam Security Police Association, Inc. (USAF) 1995-2017. All Rights Reserved.