Nui Dat, SVN
35th Security Police Squadron
1966-1972

Compiled by Don Poss., LM 37

Nui Dat hill, N/W Phan Rang AB.

Nui Dat, Aussie base, SVN 1966. USAF 35th SPS K-9 base security.
Click to see Original Photo


NUI DAT, N/W Phan Rang AB: Email sent to VSPA members: A new and rare photo has been located showing a K-9 Kennels sign for the 35th SPS, with a hill in the background and a tower and bunker(s) on the hilltop. Nothing is known about the photo. Please check out the Original Photo and if you recall base/hill name, post name, ever worked that post, know what the view is on 'the other side of the hill', who the photographer was, or the approximate 'year' of the photo, please reply to this email so that information can be included with the photo's story.

The photo's K-9 Sign reads:

WE WALK ALONE
35th Security Police Squadron
Sentry Dog Section
Commander  LT COL Donald T. Reeves

[LTC Donald T. Reeves was MG Hertog's father]

1LT Fred Reiling (Ret. LTC), Da Nang AB, 1965-1966; Phan Rang AB: 1966.

Email From: Fred Reiling [mailto:fredreiling@bellsouth.net]

PR, 35th SPS, 1965-1966:

I forwarded this [request] to Garth Wright; it was while he was there, I think. Fred Reiling

Photo left: 1LT Fred Reiling (Ret. LTC), Đà Nàng AB, 1965-1966; Phan Rang AB: 1966.

 

Email From: Fred Reiling [mailto:fredreiling@bellsouth.net]

Really amazing to see the difference since I first arrived at Phan Rang shortly after Thanksgiving in 1965. We had no runway, the Army engineers were laying AM2 matting which became the first runway capable of accepting the fighters. The AF compound was composed of 6 GP medium tents.  The cops were Capt. Reg Maisey (TDY) from Hickam and I think it was 20 troops TDY from Nha Trang.   We had our M16s and nothing else to begin with.  The AF contingent had what they called a "Grey Eagle Kit" which was the basics for starting a bare base operation.  One of the most cherished items in it was the Philippine Mahogany lumber and sheets of plywood it included.  That was how we hard backed our tents but more importantly it was fantastic trading  material with the 101st who were home-based a couple of miles from us.  They coveted the lumber to hardback their tents and were willing to trade almost anything for it.  That was how we got our first M79 grenade launcher and M60 machine gun. Taught ourselves how to fire them with a little help from one of the Army troops.  Used Nui Dat as the target for the M60.  Did anyone notice several large rocks that we finally zeroed in on?  Also remembered the instructor back in the Philippines who qualified us with the AR-15 when we stopped for a couple of days to get our GG shots and qualify on the AR-15.  He had told us if we ever need to fire the grenade from it we could take the bullet out of a round, use mud to plug the casing and then use it to send the grenade down range.  We tried it and it went about three feet off the barrel of the weapon and fell to the ground (we did the same).  Fortunately it had not gone far enough to make the necessary revolutions to arm it.  Can't remember what we did with it.
The Wing Commander went to the 101st Commanders one night and ended up bragging on his cops so much that we were invited to go out on a three day patrol with one of their Companies.  I asked for volunteers and out of the 50 or so people we had by that time we had all of them volunteer.  I had to select ten of us to go.  Had a real learning experience with the Army while on patrol. Did have a small skirmish and one VC was killed.  One of our troops was awarded the Purple Heart from a wound from a Punjii stick. I found out for one thing that the gas tube and gas port were dissimilar metals and expanded at different rates.  When I woke up in the morning I checked my weapon and found the bolt would not open.  After working with it awhile I got it open and carried a round in the chamber from then on.

When I arrived at Danang in March of that year we had one TDY Capt. and 50 TDY troops from the States.  By the time I left we had nine officers and almost 900 troops.  The same thing happened at Phan Rang.  By the time I left after almost four months we had grown to six officers and about 300 troops. 

Thanks for sending these messages.  Enjoy reading them and they bring back memories. Fred Reiling (Ret. LTC)

Email From: Garth Wright [mailto:toadshaul@comcast.net]
[LTC Garth Wright was one of only two non-aircrew officers to receive the Air Force Cross. Action was at Phan Rang AB: 1969: Courtesy of http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3548]

LTC Garth Wright, Phan Rang AB: 35th SPS, 1969. LTC Garth Wright was one of only two non-aircrew officers to receive the Air Force Cross. Action was at Phan Rang AB: 1969.To
: Fred [Reiling]: From the angle of this [Nui Dat Hill] picture, and the K9 sign, it would indicate that the hill behind has to be the Korean compound. It was the only hill near the K9 section and was the HQ for the Korean White Horse regt. Colonel Kim and his staff were there plus a small staff and three 105 howitzers who periodically shot at something including one famous evening when a short round burst right over a K9 guardmount. We returned the shell fragments to them in a bucket with an inquiry that they appeared to have lost something. Lots of stories about our Korean friends but we got along with them very well. Most of their troops were some 20 to 40 miles to the WNW strung out along the ridgelines running north. Cannot think that this could be anywhere else unless K9 troops were plastering signs all over the base and even then there were only a few hills apart from Nui Dat and they were all occupied and had no bunkers whatever. Hope this helps. Garth Wright [Ret. LTC]

Photo Above: LTC Garth Wright, Phan Rang AB: 35th SPS, 1969.

Additional responding emails follow the photos.

1. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat hill is N/W of Phan Rang AB: and slightly to the right of the red pin.
1. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat Hill is N/W of Phan Rang AB: and slightly to the right of the red pin.
2. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat base and compound roads and old foundations can still be seen. The yellow dot (center/left) marks Nui Dat hill's elevation of 520 feet.
2. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat base and compound roads and old foundations can still be seen.
A yellow dot (center/left) marks Nui Dat Hill's elevation of 520 feet.
3. Google Satellite image (current): Phan Rang AB. Nui Dat hill is center/right and marked by the yellow dot at its base.
3. Google Satellite image (current): Phan Rang AB. Nui Dat Hill is center/right and marked by the yellow dot at its base.
4. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat hill.
4. Google Satellite image (current):Nui Dat Hill.
5. Nui Dat hill, as viewed from base area below. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
5. Nui Dat Hill, as viewed from base area below. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
6. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat hill, overhead view. Yellow dot marks 180.30 meters high.
6. Google Satellite image (current): Nui Dat Hill, overhead view. Yellow dot marks 180.30 meters high.
7. Nui Dat hill, as viewed from base area below. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
7. Nui Dat Hill, as viewed from base area below. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
8. Nui Dat: 35th SPS tent-huts 1967, and prior to the barracks construction. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
8. Nui Dat: 35th SPS tent-huts 1967, and prior to the barracks construction. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
9. Nui Dat: 35th SPS tent-huts 1967. Seems that group pictures occassionally had someone flipping the bird. In this case, the guy in the pladd shirt is yours truly, Stan Reeves. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
9. Nui Dat: 35th SPS tent-huts 1967. Seems that group pictures occasionally had someone flipping the bird.
In this case, the guy in the plaid shirt is yours truly, Stan Reeves. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
10. Nui Dat: 35th SPS barracks. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
10. Nui Dat: 35th SPS barracks. Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
11. Nui Dat: 35th SPS. With barracks construction, followed sandbag and bunkers details. I wonder what the barrels had contained? Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
11. Nui Dat: 35th SPS. With barracks construction, followed sandbag and bunkers details.
I wonder what the barrels had contained? Photo by Stan Reeves, ND 1967.
12. Nui Dat: Civilian Vietnamese workers running to work frombus. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
12. Nui Dat: Civilian Vietnamese workers running to work from bus. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
13. Nui Dat: Australian Base. Allied troops raise national flags. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
13. Nui Dat: Australian Base. Allied troops raise national flags. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
14. Nui Dat hill: Initial dirt road paved and handled large trucks passing without a problem. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
14. Nui Dat Hill: Initial dirt road paved and handled large trucks passing without a problem. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
15. Nui Dat hill: View from hill of barracks below. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
15. Nui Dat Hill: View from hill of barracks below. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.

16. Nui Dat hill: Composite photo from Nui Dat hilltop. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.
16. Nui Dat Hill: Composite photo from Nui Dat Hilltop. Photo by Dana Anthony, ND 1969.

Additional Emails received:

From: Mack Griffin [mailto:mackgriffin5@msn.com]
PR, 35th SPS, 1966-1967: This photo shows what was called Nui Dat. There was a Sgt who pulled the post fill time. I worked with him a couple of days…can't remember his name.  I believe on one side you could see 101st area.  The [post/hill] was used to call in anything from ground attacks outside the base and when our aircraft received ground fire. Mack A. Griffin, LM 524

From: Eddie A. Stott [mailto:eastott@comcast.net]
PR, 35th SPS, K-9 Veterinary Tech, 1966-1967: Up the road you will see a portion of a building (you can see the roof) this is what we called in my day “The New Kennels” for the 35th and we moved into them in early 67. Prior to this time we just had tents. Eddie Stott, Vet Tech, 1966-1967

From: Terrell Morris [mailto:incoming@charter.net]
PR: 35th SPS, 1966-1967: I worked OPs on Panther Flight in 66. We worked towers and hilltops, but I have no knowledge of that hill [post]. Maybe it was built later. Terry Morris, LM 38

From: Steve Bandura [mailto:steveban2@comcast.net]
PR, 35th SPS, 1966-1967: Don: This is Nui Dat more a small mountain when we were there ‘66-‘67, right behind our Cantonment area, our Hooch was the last one in a line at the base of Nui Dat. After evening chow Air Police Panther Flight one Sgt and an Airman, would climb the mountain with an M60 and two canisters of ammo. Brutal fatigues soak and wet after this climb. Nobody ever made to the top w/o stopping.  Later when a road was built it turned into a .50 cal. Placement, and a communications hut was built.
I have copied 3 other Panther Flight members. Don Dinubilo has a great pic with him sitting on top of the bunker and the Bomb Dump in the back ground. Steve Bandura, LM 702

From: Sam Lewis [mailto:sl8345@yahoo.com]
PR, 35th SPS, 1967-1968: Good Pic Don but If my memory serves me, it’s been over 40 years , That sign I was at the entrance of the K9 Kennels and that structure you’re referring to as a tower bunker is exactly that and was the observation tower on a hilltop Korean Compound where they had 105 Howitzers that they mainly fired sometimes right over our heads in our towers toward a large mountain about 6 Klicks away we called Charlies Mountain. Somebody else stationed at PR might confirm that too. You named it right "The Other Side of the Hill". That’s exactly what it was. That road is the North Perimeter road which was on the other side of the hill from the runway and main base area. The most isolated area on the base. the Koreans were called the Red Horse Squadron?
One more point and I’ll let you go. In the foreground of that pic if you could see it was the perimeter fence line. All along that perimeter were our towers we manned. Many times when we were sitting in our towers and those crazy Koreans were firing those big guns from that hill sometimes the rounds would fall short and would land on that hill between that compound and that road. Other times those rounds would Whiz directly over our heads while we sat in those towers. I used to sit and count the seconds from the time the rounds left the guns until they hit that mountain five miles away, then ‘timed’ [how long it took to hear] the explosion afterwards. Charlie had four secret base camps on that mountain, which was between us and Cam Ranh Bay. We (our AF Fighters, the Koreans, and the Navy with their big guns on the water) kept that mountain lit up 24-7 the whole time I was at PR and probably the whole time PR was there.  I think somewhere in my pics I have a close up of that Korean Compound and a Pic of Charlie’s Mountain they shot at. If I can locate them I’ll send them to you. Have a great one Brother!Sam Lewis, LM 302

From: Ed Narwid [mailto:w4oafednar@yahoo.com]
PR, 35th SPS, 1967-1968: Don: I am thinking could this be Nui Dat which was a hill inside the base that had an Post on top. I remember having to go up there to drop off the AP/SP when we had shift changes as I was assigned to a SAT team for that area. Cannot remember the post number. I do remember the great view of the flight line area as well as all 360 degrees from there. I have many pictures here in my album. Just cannot figure out how to get them uploaded though.  I plan to bring my albums to Charleston next year for the reunion.  I want to see if I can get names with the pictures as they have slipped my memory after all these years. Ed Narwid

From: John Jobes [mailto:jdj46@comcast.net]
PR, 35th SPS, 1967-1968: Don: The only tower I can remember on a mountain was on Nui Dat... there was also a bunker on the backside that would have been looking down at the K-9 kennel. On the opposite side of the mountain about halfway up was the NCO club.  I was there from 67-68 so maybe the tower was improved on. There was also a radio station on top. I believe that CSC was moved there after I left. Master Sergeant-E7 John Jobes (LM 542), USAF Retired, 1964–1988, AFSC: 70270.

From: John Kelly [mailto:jkellyiii@msn.com]
PR, 35th SPS, 1967-1968: I am John Kelly 821st CSPS lived in Phan Rang AB in the corner of the base, that hill according to when I was there was called "PINK EYE" a light or laser if you will was used to shoot out across the fence line. We were also in bunkers and towers with Starlites [scopes] and pop flares, and with at M60 and 1500 rd. boxes. We also carried M16's and .38 [revolvers].  Also had gas masks.  About the PINK EYE Laser not sure if laser or some other type of lighting or security type light. but an immense lite was coming from top of hill. could have been an aircraft landing light. or spot lite of some type back in the 1960's.
We at the 821st worked Panther Flight, night work, and were regimented with the local SP added to the rosters to assist. We were TDY to Phan Rang, Pleiku, and Tan Son Nhut. All over Vietnam we had 600, then returned to our home base which was Forbes Field, Topeka, Kansas. However, we were trained at Schofield Barracks, HI, and Ft Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne, Screaming Eagles. So I suppose we were associated with the security police there in Phan Rang. John J. Kelley

From: Dave Hardenburgh (ortonvilleharley@hotmail.com):
PR, 35th SPS/821st CPSP, 1967; 1968-1969: That post would be Golf-3.  I worked there quit often while in the Nam.  If I recall right, all that was on the other side was the seeds and Salma trees going straight down to the other side, and the base Op towers. Stitch [Dave Hardenburgh]

From: Craig Lord [mailto:loosedog@bellsouth.net]
PR, 35th SPS, K-9, 1968-1969: I know exactly where you are talking about. Nui Dat was behind the kennels and on the base and was 180.30 meters high. At the top of the hill was Starlight Control which had a view of all of the base and was the primary control center. They had a "pink eye" light on the top of the hill and could light up almost anything. This is circa 68-69. I have the grid map that's how I got the height. If I saw the photo I could probably ID the tower/bunker.
Lt. Col Reeves served at Phan Rang from 1968 (or earlier)-1969. Lt. Col. Louis J. Cloutier assumed command 5 Aug 1969 replacing Lt. Col Reeves who returned to an assignment with Security Police Directorate, HQ USAF, Washington D.C.
As a side note the 2nd ROK Marine White Horse Div. was also located behind K9 part way up the hill and had a battery of 105mm cannons. They provided their own compound security and this may be their bunker/tower.  And yes the K9 sign says, “ We walk Alone.”

PS: Waiting for Dragich to get back home to Soldatna, Alaska. He is in Anchorage for the day and said he would check it for us. He was there 2 1/2 years and is an expert on all the workings of PR. I think it is the 2nd ROK marine compound and Starlight was just on the other side.

PSS: Dragich advised ROK to 9th ROK White Horse compound. Our (35th SPS, K9) sign/motto was "We Walked Alone."
Craig Lord, LM 373

From: Gary A. Jones [mailto:GJONES003@sc.rr.com]
PR 822nd CSPS; 35th SPS, 1965; 1968-1969; 1971-1972: Don: This appears to be a view of the hill called Nui Dat (not sure about the spelling), as seen, looking from North (Hotel Sector) to the South. The bunker appears to be the Observation Post on top of Nui Dat, but I can’t recall the name/post number. I was Safeside and our Base Camp was in Hotel Sector (aka 101st Airborne Area), a couple of miles from the Main Base cantonment areas. Safeside only worked Hotel and Juliet Sectors, so I wasn’t that familiar with other parts of the Base. BTW, Lt Col Reeves was Major General Hertog’s Father. Gary A. Jones, LM 363

From: Richard Luckhaupt [mailto:luckrb@frontier.com]
PR: 35th SPS/821st CSPS, 1968-1969: I was in Phan Rang 1968-1969.  I believe that post to be GOLF 3. Rich Luckhaupt

From: Dana Anthony [mailto:danaanthony@bellsouth.net]
PR, 35th SPS, 1968-1969: Don:  I don't know where that particular post was, but perhaps these photos will help fine tune the search.  I just looked at the photos I scanned and sent you a little closer. The building at the bottom of the mountain was either the NCO Club, or the "O" Club. You can make out the bunker in your photo at the top of the mountain.
There were a couple hills that show up in various photos that I took my pictures from one of the smaller hills. The highest one is what your photo is focused on.   I just found a panoramic of the base that I put together when I was there. I'll scan it and send it to you. It was taken from the top of the "mountain" that's in your photo.
I've got a large envelope of photos that I took while there and haven't looked at them in a long time. Wow, what memories. I kept a diary while I was there, too and find it interesting what went on every day for nearly 13 months. Dana Anthony

From: Robert Walters, (stlaw02@aol.com):
PR, 35th SPS, 1969-1970: The picture looks like the road to the K-9 Section but I don't remember any hill or mountain that size close to the kennels, let alone a bunker that size on top of it. At the end of my tour I was ‘Watch Dog 19’ -- a roving one-man patrol -- for three or four months, and drove all over that base every day.
The mountain looks like Nui Dat [and] it had the Alternate CDC on top of it.  In the old days they walked those trails to get to the top. We had it easy in ‘69 and we could drive to the top.  From Alternate CDC you had a 360 degree observation of the entire base.   I believe the picture is looking North from the East and the ‘Fire Fight’ is taking place in Hotel Sector. I'll try to find some pictures from my tour.  1970 was a long time ago.  I have been trying to find a copy of a base map and the security sectors from Phan Rang.  Can you help me out?Robert H. Walters, MSgt, USAF Ret, Watch Dog 19,  K-9 Kennel Master 81172A

From: James David [mailto:jdsnafucitymich@yahoo.com]
PR, 35th SPS, K-9, 1969-1970: Don... the photo appears to be of the hard surface leading into the kennels and K9 office & armory building... taken at an interesting angle from the hard surface running parallel to the "Delta" fence line... the hill pictured is the ROK 105 emplacement which regularly put out rounds at "Charley's Mountain"... the K9 training area was to the viewer’s right of the kennel office roof that can be seen in the photo... the sign was taken down because it stuck out like a sore thumb for enemy mortar crews I suppose... it was down when I got there... hope this helps! Jim M. David, 35th SPS Flight Chief & Training Supervisor, Phan Rang 1969-1970, ‘Kilo 2 & 4 & 5’

From:Lyle Brakob [mailto:lmbrakob@att.net]
PR, 823rd CSPS, 1969-1970: Don: cannot help other than to say I was there in March, April, May 69 with Safeside -- -my Combat Section had Juliet Sector grave shift -- -I do not recall any such hill in that sector -- our base camp was near Hotel Sector and there were some mounds and hills there, but don't recall one being as big as what the picture looks like. The hill looks like it is close to the perimeter -- -never met the Commander.  Maybe can I.D. it through processes of elimination. Appreciate your good work! Thanks and -- - All the Best,Lyle Brakob, LM 498

From: Charles Myatt [mailto:mrmyatt@sbcglobal.net]
PR, 35th SPS (Panther Flight), 1970-1971: I worked on Nui Dat (the hill), but this doesn't look like what would be Alternate SCC. Heavy Weapons call sign was Zorro Control for some reason. There were some smaller hills on base. I also never made it to the kennel area. Nui Dat had an Army radio facility with a tall tower that stood above the raised hut on stilts/poles that was Alt. Cascarillas Myatt, LM 108

From: Phil Mason [mailto:copster@cox.net]
PR 315th SPS, K-9, 1970-1971: I believe the hill that was behind the kennels was part of the S. Korean compound. Phil Mason

From: Dave Eckard [mailto:weckard754@nctv.com]
PR, 315th SPS; 35th SPS, K-9, 1971-1971: The Kennel I remember was at the bottom of a hill with ROK troops manning big guns on the top.  You could feel the ground shake when they decided to play a few hot rounds. Dave Eckard

From: Jimmy O’Collell [mailto:CKOConnell@aol.com]
PR, 35th SPS, 1971-1972: Hi Don,  great to hear from you. This photo is of early Nui Data, before they paved the road on this side of the hill. Opposite side is the Hotel and Golf areas.  Illumination rounds [would be] from Python Mortar Pit.  I don't know who the photographer was. Jimmy O'Connell, LM584

 
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