1st Battalion 30th Field Artillery

Vietnam 1965 - 1971

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The 30th Artillery Battalion moved into their first combat position at Phu Cat, December 26, 1965. The unit made it's first move to Phu Cat from Tuy Hoa and dug in. You can read about this move in "Oral History."
The push was to get the troops and ammunition under two layers of sand bags before night fell.
At the right HE M107 rounds lay in a small parapet while bunkers (in background) are being constructed. Pictures furnished by John Dynes
One of the few diversions we had besides listening to AFVN and "Hanoi Hannah" was "Stars and Stripes" the official newspaper of the Armed Forces. We laughed at "With Sgt. Mike's" wicked sense of humor
Some of the characters were easy to identify from within our own ranks.
Some made us wonder about life on the home front.
We found it easy to identify some of his characters within our own ranks.............too easy at times.
His commentaries on life in the military and in the "Land of the Big PX" were often quite biting.
"Wan Dolla MPC" could buy a lot, a "numbah wan shoeshine" of maybe a cold Coke if you were lucky.
Military payment certificates were issued in lieu of U.S. Greenbacks. One dollar MPC brought 320 Dong at the legitimate exchange rate, one dollar green could bring over 700 Dong on the black market.
The five cent MPC at left represents about 34 minutes of your combat pay. We got $65 a month for being exposed to "hostile fire." That comes to 8.9 cents an hour.
Vietnamese Piastres or Dong, the 500 Dong note at right was worth about $3 MPC at the legitimate exchange rate. Compare this note to the Dong used by the NVA, (below
The 50 Dong or Piastre note at left came from a NVA Lieutenant who was captured after an abortive attack in Tay Ninh Province.
Some people will ask "Why should I join the Association?" The answer is quite simple. You spent at least a year in Vietnam, less if you were wounded; and you made friends and had buddies. You promised to write when you got home, but who did? You shared bunkers, C-Ration, your Tabasco Sauce, letters, hopes, fears, plans for the future and a thousand other things you would not share with anyone else. You worked together and watched each others back and then you or he went home. End of story?
The Association aids you in making contact with that buddy once again and with the reunion schedule it gives you the chance to get together with not only that special friend, but with many others that you did not remember as well. Pictured above are James Doughty (top) Joe Geiger (by sign) Jerry Upton (right) and Don Shacklette (left). This photo was taken at FSB Judy in November of 1969. The picture at the right is of Jerry Upton and Don Shacklette taken at the Lawton/Fort Sill Reunion in 1998. Twenty-eight years has passed since they had seen each other.
OK Hard Chargers, it is time to get into that shoe box in the attic or the garage and dig out those olds pictures. Uncle Don is afraid that this will turn into his private scrapbook. John Kovachs, John Dynes and others in the Association have sent pictures for the website. Now it is your turn. Mail or scan and e-mail your photos today.
Doing so will keep you from having to see my ugly mug too many times. At the right is a picture of your younger (and thinner) Web Master. Name the people if you can, if you cannot at least tell us where the picture was taken. Maybe someone else can help identify the people. This is your Association and your web site, let's make it the best that we can.
This area reserved for more Vietnam photos.
More Pictures will be appearing soon, come back often.


[World War Two] [Erlangen] [Fort Lewis] [550th] [HHB] [SVC Btry] [A Btry] [B Btry]
[C Btry] [RVN General] [Then & Now] [2/30] [3/30] [5/30] [1/30 Augsburg] [Home]