1st MIBARS In Vietnam!


Commanding Officers

Executive Officers


Operational Responsibility for "B" Detachment

and

Recollections of A Unique Environment 

for Career Military

Parking stand with Detachment "B" sign and  parked jeeps

Photo Credit: MIV

The Parking Stand:  For Those Assigned to MIBARS in DaNang, It All Began Here -- B" Detachment's Front Door!


Commanding Officers

Detachment "B" Commanding Officer in late 1966 and early 1967

Photo Credit: MIV

Detachment "B" Commanding Officer in mid-1967

Photo Credit: MIV

Detachment "B" Commanding Officer in late 1967 receiving the guidon from the Battalion Commander

Photo Credit: MIV

The commanding officer for a 1st MIBARS detachment held the rank of major.  "B" Detachment had three commanding officers in 1967 -- four counting an executive officer, a captain, who was appointed transitional CO for a temporary period of time.  At least among military intelligence units, the U.S. Army seemed interested in giving its officers an opportunity to get "command time" on their personnel records -- an enhancement for retention and advancement.  Left:  MAJ Anthony F. Matta [1929-2014], "B" Detachment's recently-arrived Commanding Officer in late 1966.  He instituted procedures to speed up the on-site evaluation of aerial imagery and conceived and initiated the Hand-held Camera Program.  He also originated the detachment's motto, "The Mission, Then Some More." In early 1967, he took command of the 1st MIBARS.  Center:  The successor commander, an Army aviator, served with "B" Detachment in mid-1967.  Right:  LTC Anthony F. Matta, Commanding officer of the 1st MIBARS, shown here at left presenting "B" Detachment  guidon to the newly-assigned third commanding officer in 1967.  It fell to this officer to provide tactical defensive leadership to "B" Detachment personnel when the operations area on the I Corps Compound was threatened by the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive of January 1968.


Executive Officers (Imagery Interpretation Section Chiefs)

Detachment "B" Executive Officer from late 1966 through early 1967

Photo Credit: MIV

"B" Detachment: The First Year

"April [1966] came and Easter Saturday. We were awakened at 0400 by Marine Security: Pack your gear was the order of the day; we are evacuating DaNang. A Marine Battalion was sent in for protection of all civilians and military personnel while they boarded helicopters for evacuation to MAG-16 [Marine Air Group 16], located at Marble Mountain [Air Base]. After a few days there, we slowly infiltrated back to our operations area where we set up tents and lived and worked for 2 weeks. Showers were few and far between, and the Cís (C-Rations) were cold, but at least we were safe and back in our own area where we could do some good in helping the cause.

"May [1966] came in like a tiger. Another coup. General Thieu was ousted as I Corps Commander and we were . . . alerted to report to our operations area with our equipment. Cold Cís . . . and no showers. The Vietnamese Marines sent a Battalion of men along with 7 tanks to guard the I Corps compound. Looks like we are stuck here for a while! Out came the Cís, the cots, the bedding, and the use of our water truck for the whole compound. Six days later the CO was notified that we were running out of C-Rations: "Captain Scallan, you, Sgt Rosak, SP5 Collier and PFC Blough take the deuce & a half and make it to Sub-Area Support. Got to have food for the troops!" The chow party got to the air base where the Sub-Area [Command] was located, but couldnít get off to go to Navy Supply to pick up the Cís.

"After 4 hours of waiting at the gate - pow!, pow!, pow!, automatic rifle fire in our direction. "Get under the truck!" shouts the Captain Ė Gladly, the firing stopped shortly thereafter -- and then "Letís get the hell out of here!"  Finally got to Navy Supply, got our Cís, stole 2 cases of ham & Spam, and got back to the safety of the I Corps compound.  Three days later the coup ended and we went back to the hotel and a hot shower!"

Bill Smedley, "B" Detachment, Reproduction Section and Detachment Clerk, 1965-1966.

Detachment "B" Executive Officer assigned in early 1967

Photo Credit: MIV

The Imagery Interpretation Officer, a captain, also served as the MIBARS detachment's second-in-command, or Executive Officer -- also known as the "XO."  Top:    XO in 1966-1967, and transitional "B" Detachment Commanding Officer, 1967.  Bottom: Successor Executive Officer, 1967.


Detachment "B" Officers grouped at the parking stand in late 1967

Photo Credit:  MIV

Left:  "B" Detachment Officers grouped beside the Detachment's sign at the Parking Stand in late 1967.  Shown, left to right,  Delivery Platoon pilot; Reproduction Section Officer; an Imagery Interpretation Section Team Lead; Commanding Officer, and Imagery Interpretation Section Officer/Detachment Executive Officer.


Click At Left For Recollections of

A Unique Wartime Environment


For other "B" Detachment personnel, click on a link below

Mission Leads/Delivery Platoon

Non-Commissioned Officers

Enlisted Command Support 

Troopers I

Troopers II

Constructed Roster


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