258th Signal Detachment, US Army
Vung Tau, Vietnam (Cap St Jacques)

This is the start of a homepage for those who were with the 258th Signals Det. in Vung Tau.
If you were with the 258th, drop me a line and I will include you on this page.
Lets see if we can locate some old friends!

Lyman Duggan    Canadian Marconi Company
Tech Rep in Support of  ASN-64 Doppler Navigation System



I was posted there in 68-69
I returned for a visit in Oct 1999 and noted some changes.
Here are some photos I took during the 99 re-visit
This scene really hasn't changed :-)
Bin Ding still smells fishy but the pot-holes have moved I think!

I am now starting to put up info on my 99 revisit and will include my 2 week train trip across China to North Vietnam and a stay with the Mountain people of the Northern Highlands. Several enjoyable days in Hanoi with no Jane Fonda in site. I loved the city and the people and although i was anxious dragging my suitcase across the Red River Bridge I found nothing but friendly happy people everywhere. I met lots of turists in Hanoi but no Americans. There was serious flooding in Hue and the train was not running so I had to fly to HCM City and take the high speed ferry to Vung Tau where I found a fine hotel for 25/day and a good honda 100 for 14/day. More on this later.

Low tide on Front Beach




..Viet Navy

This old Russian Hydro-foil (below) jets you from Saigon (HCM City) to VungTau in 75 minutes for 10.00 USD
We had to stop twice and reverse to get the weeds and crap off the foils :-)
It is rather startling to make the trip so quickly.
My first time on the Mekong River. It is dirty and there is really nothing interesting to see until the approach to Vung Tau. I was surprised to see an oil drilling rig!
There are some very nice hotels there now and I paid only 25 per night for a nice modern room a block from Front Beach.
I rented a motorcycle for 16.00 a day
The ship that was aground at French Beach is gone now. I found someone who had heard that it was cut up for scrap about 15 years ago. Everyone else I spoke to about it were not even aware that it ever existed. No one is interested in talking about the war. I was a long time ago and a boring conversation for them.
I entered the country from the north via China and went into the mountains to see the mountain tribes, then off to Hanoi for a few days R&R! Can you imagine?
I enjoyed Hanoi and would like to return for an extended holiday.


Some old friends that I would like to hear from:

Canadian Marconi Company
Rheal Boulanger, CMC Tech Rep
Tony Deveau, CMC Tech Rep
Marshall Vincent CMC Tech Rep
Jim Dunlop CMC Tech Rep
Marshall Tate  Test Equipment Repair Van
Paul Butler Dynalectron Tech Rep (Minneapolis?)
Mike Day  US Army
Charlie Day US Army
Harry Weir  HRB Singer?

I WAS A TO W/73rd IN 70-71-72, FLEW IR. ALSO WITH 73rd IN GDR 79-81,

TO/IR/70-71-72(ALL 73rd)                Danny Wayne Mohon <mohon@pop.goodnet.com>

From:            TJWiese@aol.com
Date sent:       Tue, 2 Jan 2001 22:47:50 EST

Hi, My name is Dan Wiese.  I was with the 258th sig. det. from May of 68 to  May of 69 . I was a buck sgt. Supposed to be an avionics tech. but was put in charge of shipping and receiving and motor vehicles. I knew Mike and Charlie Day. I think the Paul guy you want was a black guy with dynalectron last name Butler. One nice guy he was.   I am in Spokane Washington .       tjwiese@aol.com  I can give you a bunch more names if you want them.        Dan

From:            BMess30957@aol.com
Date sent:       Mon, 18 Dec 2000 13:26:37 EST

My name is Bill. I was in Vung Tau 1965-1966. I was the site NCO for the Stratcom site that was built on the hill there. We had a Det of signal personnel from a Sig Company just outside Vung Tau. They had a long lines site in the same compound as we were building our site. I left Vung Tau in Nov 1966 and at that time the Stratcom site was not finished.I never got to see the site in full operation.It was a very big setup.We built hugh Tropo scatter Antenna"s and a lot of Microwave systems. Was wondering if while you were there if you ever got up to our site? Well i enjoyed looking at your pictures.I think the first one is a picture
of the Hill i am talking about.But without seeing those big dishes can not be sure. But very glad that you have started this site.If you hear from anyone else that was in Vung Tau i would be happy to hear from them By the way i am now living in France.
Looking forward from hearing from you.          bmess30957@aol.com.

Date sent:       Thu, 05 Oct 2000 03:26:59 -0500
From:            josephine le <josephinele@earthlink.net>
Subject:         good morning sire

i remember clearly still, Vung Tau is a place where love to visit the
Buddah Pagoda where he's laid to sleep.  im glad we are family. hope you get to visit
vn again soon.       love    kim josephine le

From:            TJWiese@aol.com
Date sent:       Tue, 14 Aug 2001 00:57:03 EDT
Subject:         Re: I was with the 258th sig. det. from May of 68 to

These are the names of the guys I did time with in Viet Nam at the 258th sig det.
-John Boehme
-Calvin Jacob Newcomer III
-Charlie Mangum
-Jim King
-Jerry Ross
-Snuffy Smith
-Crash Whalen
-Robert Dushaw
-Sgt Segari
-Andy Mueller
-Dick St.Germain
-Richard Barry
-Maj. McDonald
-Maj. Walton H. Osborn
-Spec 4 Gates
-Mike Gardiner
-Jack O. Honeycutt
-Roland Buckles
-Tom Barber
-SSG Douglas
-Tom Hooker
-Bob Prosch
-Tim Millsaps
-Jim Gindt
-Bill Maher (Dynalectron)
-Les Jones
-1st. Sgt. Nickerson
-Matthew Taffel.
-Lt Jeffery Casper
-Bruce Seifers

 There were some  more but I will have to think on them for a time. Mike Day and Charlie Day you already have.    Dan Wiese

Monday, 10 September 2001     Casualties    Collision off Vietnam

A Taiwanese-owned tanker has collided with a Vietnamese tanker while anchoring off Vietnam's south coast causing a spill of several thousand tonnes of diesel oil. The Liberian registered, Formosa One struck the Vietnamese tanker, Petrolimex 01 on Friday morning as she lay anchored 3 km offshore. A serious spill occurred although no injuries were reported. Petrolimex 01 is owned by Vietnam’s National Import-Export Corp. The Formosa One, owned by Taiwan's Formosa Plastics, is registered in Liberia and manned by Chinese crew. The accident occurred in a bay off Vung Tau, about 120 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese tanker, en route from Singapore, had been docked for one hour before the accident occurred, reports said. The Formosa One was carrying 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil and Petrolimex 01 had 19,000 tonnes of diesel oil onboard at the time of the collision. The spill has affected Vung Tau beach and coastal shrimp farms, reports said. Specialists are working to contain the spill.

From:            GENEEEBIRD@aol.com
Date sent:       Sun, 10 Mar 2002 19:24:37 EST
Subject:         258th search

Hi,  I was running a google search for an old high school buddy and ran across  your site tor the 258th. There was a T.J.Wiese looking for people from that  unit, wonder if he ever located Cal Newcomer. If anyone hears from Cal, give him this email address and this phone #, please. 916 441 7116. Dan Weise apparently let his email at  aol dry up, unable to contact.               Thanks, Gene Bird Sacramento, Calif.

Date sent:       Fri, 25 Jan 2002 13:15:22 -0800 (PST)
From:            aimee <amr4183@yahoo.com>
Send reply to:   treeoflifenow@yahoo.com

My friend is trying to locate her vietnamese family from Vung Tau.  She was taken from there when she was four years old from American soldiers because she was1/2 American 1/2 vietnamese.  She was adopted in America, but has never known anything about her real family.  She is still considered a political refugee.  She was brought to the U.S.A. in 1974/75. If you could help us with some sort of contact information to help her find her real family, she and I would be truly greatful.  Thank you.  Aimee Richard 

From:            "Monty L Spears" <mlspears@hotmail.com>
Subject:         Signal History Help
Date sent:       Mon, 03 Dec 2001 09:00:41 +0000

Hello Mr. Duggan,
My name is Monty Spears and I am trying to find unit history on the 255th Signal Detachment. I am wondering if you heard of them or can cross reference me to someone that can help me.     Thank you         Monty Spears

From:            "Pat Sandoval" <havababe@citlink.net>
To:              <lyman@naval.com>
Subject:         vung tau, Viet Nam web page
Date sent:       Sat, 16 Mar 2002 21:14:35 -0700

 Lyman Duggan,
My name is Sisto Sandoval.  I just read your page on Vung Tau, Viet Nam and I read a person by the name of Bill at bmess30957@aol.com who assisted in building the micro-dishes and antenna's at what we call VC Hill, in Vung Tau, Vietnam,in 1966.  I was in Viet Nam with Long Lines Battalion South and assigned to VC Hill (Vung Tau, Vietnam) from May 1968 to May 1969. Also during Tet.  I remember those huge communication dishes and antennas.  I should have pictures of them and the road that led up to the hill.  I was with Quarter Masters at that time and dealt with the Navy at the bottom of the hill.  I still recall the oil-rotten fish smell just before one went up the hill. The beautiful Beaches at the bottom of the hill and the in-country R&R places. I remember a rocket hit one of the communication dishes and made quite a hole in it.  I was also on temporary duty with Long Lines Battalion North Signal Division Central Viet Nam and worked close to Qui Hnon supply base. I was also in Pleiku and have photos of that area also. My main Headquarters was Long Lines Battalion South Vung Tau, Viet Nam. Thanks for
the memories of a bunch of good guys.

<<Hi Sisto, I remember the dishes, and in 99 i went back up the hill and visited the light house there. It was off limits in 68-69. I thought that microwave site was managed by PAGE and used to know a few of the engineers as some were from Canada.. We are into troposcatter in the far north :-) >>

Date sent:       Tue, 02 Apr 2002 16:27:47 -0600
Subject:         Vung Tau

Your Vung Tau homepage and message board are neat, especially the pictures!  I'm was not in the 258th, but I was in the 36th.  The 36th was the US Army hospital in V.T., down by the airfield.  I was an Army nurse there from Feb to Aug, 1967. I was then transferred to Long Binh to the 93rd Evac Hospital. Long Binh was about 20 miles north of Saigon and had been carved out of the jungle for the USARV headquarters and many other units, such as a U.S. Army stockade and others, such as the 24th Evac Hospital, a mile or so from the 93rd.  It was there where I met the man I married and we "thumbed" rides on choppers to and from Vung Tau until the Tet put an end to that sort of stuff. We usually ate at Cyrno's (correct spelling) across from Front Beach and behind the grenade fence.  The owner/chef had learned his trade in France and the food was super. Alas, going up the hill to that communciations installation was verboten
for us, but we were always curious about it, so it's interesting to read the various comments about it that you've collected. Were you aware that Madame Nu's (?spelling.  My memory, ala, fails me on this one) mansion was between it and downtown, on the hillside and quite visible from the road that ran along the harbor from French Beach to downtown.   Somewhere, we have a picture of it, probably a slide. Please don't post my e-mail address, but I thought you might find the
above of some interest.

From:            "Allen, Bruce" <BAllen@harris.com>
Date sent:       Thu, 25 Jul 2002 06:35:08 -0400

I was stationed in Vung Tau from March 1966 to Jan 1967. I went there with the 335th Sig Det from Fort Lewis WA. Once we landed in Vung Tau we joined
up with the 258th. The best part of the story is that my brother (Ross Allen) was in the group that took the 258th from Sacramento Army Depot to Korat Thailand. They left Sacramento In 1962 I think in the fall. They then flew to Viet Nam as a unit and drove down to Vung Tau. He then left Viet Nam and went to Fort Gordon. When I got to Vung Tau the unit was still working out of trucks but soon a building was built, not far from the Post Office, where we supported all the air craft. I was a radar repairman that support the weather radar. I would like to hear from the guys that were there while I was there. thanks for you effort.

Date sent:       Fri, 13 Sep 2002 09:17:30 -0500       The Ship on the Beach
From:            Joe Barlow <PilotJoe50@comcast.net>

Dear Lyman,  I served in the U.S Army with the 330th Trans Co. (CHECKMATE) from 1967 to1969. At that time I was an Airframe Repairman. I worked with Charles Clayton, who was a civilian contractor for Dynalectron (I think that is a an in-correct spelling) We repaired Huey tail booms, and worked on a
mini-gun mount for the Hueys. I left the Army after returning home to Kansas City, Mo. Oct 1969, bu re-joined the Service in 1975 and became a Huey Pilot and Maintenance Test Pilot. I retired from Active Duty July1 1993. I am looking for anyone who served with me during that time frame. I found your Web site Very interesting and it brought back memories. Thanks Joseph W Barlow J

I just got off your web site and it brought back some memories.  I was stationed with the 490th General Supply there in 1967 and 1968.  I was on the beach when that freighter came ashore - we called it Windy Beach.  We were sitting in those old canvas backed chairs wearing straw hats and drinking Johnny Walker.  It was a beautiful day and it was quite a while before we noticed the freighter coming toward the beach but we, of course, expected it to turn, but it didn't.  It came right on the beach and just kept coming and coming.  Our jaws had dropped - it was amazing.  About 20 minutes later a rope ladder went over the side and we found ourselves drinking with some Greek sailors.

About a week later the whole ship was set afire.  We never did learn the story behind it.  Thanks, Bill Keogh
From:               "Buddy Randall" <BRAND20@peoplepc.com>               To:                 <lyman@duggan-family.org>
Subject:            Marshall Tate of Kentron Hawaii, Ltd. a division of Ling Tempco Vaught.
Date sent:          Fri, 4 Jun 2004

Lyman, I was stationed in Vung Tau from July 1968 to Sep 1969. I was over at 2nd Maint. Batallion. I worked in the Cal lab there. I knew Marshall Tate and Smitty very well. From there Marsh and I were together in Kwajelein and later in Korea. I went back to Saigon after service and worked in Long Binh where I had been from Nov 1967 to my transfer to Vung Tau. I haven't heard from Marsh since Korea in 1974. He married a Korean girl and was in New Mexico last I heard. I enjoyed your pictures on your VT site. Take care and write if you care to.
Buddy Randall