12th/483rd Security Police Squadron
Cam Ranh Bay AB

Photos by Steve Turner,
Sgt, 12th/483rd SPS,
1 MAR 70 - 1 MAR 71
© 2001

Steve Turner Photos, Page-1


001 - Steve Turner standing by a SAT jeep in the SPS hootch area near the 12th hospital.

I thought I would add a story of where I was the night of the POL/NAF sapper attack in June of 1970. Here is a picture [above] to go along with the story. I recently happened to read a couple other SP war stories about "where we were" on the night of June 12th, 1970. Here is my story:

It just so happened that our track, Quebec Echo, was given the night off the same night of the sapper attack on the POL/NAF in June 1970. The first and only night, the whole year I was there, that we were given the night off. CSC had just started allowing the tracks, by rotating each track one night a week or something like that, a break and a night off. Soon after this attack there was suspicion that the duty roster was getting monitored somehow because it was always hung outside of CSC and Quebec Echo was off the night the sappers blew the POL and NAF. The other 3 tracks were spread even thinner to cover the southeast quadrant that we vacated that night. Quebec Echo's normal patrol area covered the southeast quadrant up to the east side of the POL dump. Anyway they stopped posting the duty roster outside of CSC after that night and they also stopped letting any of the tracks having a night off after that, if I recall correctly....

Well we were partying pretty hard in our hootch about the time the JP-4 Fuel storage tank blew and the sirens went off. I ran outside and could see pretty much the whole base lit up from the fire in the POL area. I grabbed my gear and took off and raced my butt off up to Arizona Hill where we kept the tracks. I probably broke a world record for that dash up the Hill.

12th SPS, fixed pistolsI got the track started and flipped open the top hatch and strong-armed the .50 up on to the mount by myself (the adrenaline was really flowing) and loaded a 100 round canister and then got the .60 cal out and loaded it and sped off to go pick up the rest of the crew that I met about 2 blocks away from the hootch. We hurriedly drove down to CSC and they put us on standby. I think the Flight Chief knew that we were pretty tanked up, but we were ready to go if needed.

Well once it started to get a little light they deployed us and they had all 4 tracks out making sweeps of the bayside area. I can still remember the intense heat from that tank while it was still burning and we were at least a quarter of a mile away. If I recall correctly the sappers killed 2 navy SP's in the tower by the Navy Air Station gate from a direct hit by a B40 rocket, and we killed 1 or 2 of the suspected 8 or more sappers.

One sapper was caught by an AF SAT team responding to the NAF tower explosion. The sapper was crossing the highway just south of the NAF gate and he was lowering a bead on the SAT team and shot AK47 rounds through the SAT jeep windshield just as the .60 cal man nailed him with a burst, while the SAT driver/leader and 2nd man bailed. The .60 man was Jim Randall, who I have just recently been emailing back and forth to, about the details of that night. Jim has also posted his story on the VSPA web site recently. I verbally, via email, commended Jim for his reaction and actions to that incident that night, as he no doubt saved the SAT members, and his, life by responding to the situation as he did. I also told him that a lot of the SP's tipped their hat to him after hearing about it. I do remember that we made a lot of sweeps that morning, until around 9: 00, on the bayside looking for any other infiltrators that may have stuck around. None were found though. Needless to say we were all in pretty rough shape by the time we got the track back to Arizona Hill and hiked back to the hootch after getting no sleep for about 24 hours and the affects of our partying that got interrupted. That was one very long day.

Here are my photos during my tour.

Steve Turner

002. Steve Turner, inside Quebec Echo,
cleaning M60 ammo after a night shift on Phantom flight.

003.Arizona Hill where we stored the tracks and B100 "Pigs" off duty.
A1C Jimmy Allen, Alabama, in front of a track.

004.Quebec Echo parked at OP9 on the SE perimeter by the South China Sea.

005. Some of the fire power that we carried on the tracks.
Only the 90MM recoilless is not shown.

006. Quebec Echo parked at OP9 facing the South China Sea.

007. Quebec Echo after acquiring armor protection for 50 and 60 man.
Felt much safer with this added steel plating.

008. Another view of the armor protecting the top gunners.

009. View of the SPS hooch area prior to getting a face lift and
installing cement slab bunkers replacing drums and sand.

009. The bridge connecting CRB and the mainland.

010. Not real sure but I think this is part of My Ca village.

011.This is OP7, on the east perimeter by the beach. OP9 is
located on the tip of the peninsula visible in the distance. We Take Care of Our Own
Click to Report BROKEN LINKS or Photos, or COMMENT