1st MIBARS In Vietnam!


The World Wide Web

 References to 1st MIBARS


Photo: A group of "D" Detachment troopers, picnicing on the beach at Nha Trang with two Vietnamese domestic workers.

Photo Credit: Rex Sands, "D" Detachment, Imagery Interpretation Section, 1968-1969

Right:  "D" Detachment troopers at Nha Trang, on the coast of south central Vietnam, shown at the beach with two Vietnamese domestic workers -- front row left and center -- "Poppa-san" and "Momma-san."  Clear evidence that American military men during the Vietnam War were not far removed from American kids -- upbeat, good-natured and caring.

From the Parkway Rest Stop Web Site:  

I was quite surprised to find a website of people who have actually heard of Ft. Holabird, much less stationed there. I was assigned there out of Ft Dix from Nov. 1967 thru the spring of 1968. I trained as a 96D2T, Imagery Interpreter, TIFF qualified. After that, I was with the 1st MI Btn in DaNang for a year. After that, I was with the 15th MI Btn at Ft. Bragg.

Posted by: Stephen D Griffis on December 1, 2004 11:11 AM

From the Parkway Rest Stop Web Site:  

I served with the 1st MI Btn (ARS) in Vietnam in 1970-71 with 3 months in DaNang, 3 months in Nha Trang, and 6 months in Pleiku. Flew U-6A dehavilland Beavers. We were the "Pleiku Good Guys."  Flew I and II Corps daily delivering intel pictures.

Paul F. Webb, CW3 Retired

Posted by: Paul F. Webb on January 12, 2005 11:10 PM

From the Parkway Rest Stop Web Site:


USAINTS 67-T-5 and 68-TA-1 96D2T RVN 1968-69 1st MIB(ARS) HHC at 121 Chi Lang St. in Gia Dinh/Saigon and 45th MID(ARS) later re-named Det. E at Hue/Phu Bai.  Back to USAINTS in '69-'70 as instructor and as Tac. NCO for the advanced II and NCO course. Spent many an evening at the Holabird Inn where they made very good cheeseburger subs. and at the Greek place a block or so on down Holabird Ave.  Anyone remember Lts. Fitch and Frick? Better known to us as Frick 'n Frack.

Posted by: John Nichols on May 14, 2005 12:27 AM

From Doug Yelmen's Freedom Page:  

"B" Detachment, 1st MI(ARS) unit. I Corp, Marble Mtn. 66, 67,68. Crewed a U6-A for a small MI group flying "stuff" around I &II Corp. Shot down west of Hue late 67. Rescue Black Cat shot down, spent night in bush, Marine CH-34 saved my ass the next morning. SEMPHER FI!! Call sign was Good Guy 182. Wage peace.

Posted by: Robert Crowell, date unknown.

From Eugene Free Community Network:  

In the Infantry and Armor, the lieutenants are the platoon leaders and the captains are the company commanders. Very visible positions and easy to screw up in.  In the MI [military intelligence] world, the LTC [lieutenant colonel] is the Company Commander, the senior captains are the platoon or section leaders while the lieutenants are part of the invisible work force.  The typical MI Detachment of the Vietnam era had a LTC as detachment commander and captains as section chiefs. The Unit had the OB [order of battle] Section, the IPW [interrogation of prisoner of war] section, the CI [counterintelligence] section, the Photo Interpretation section.  The photo section was supposed to examine photos and look for items of military significance. The Corps level M.I. Detachment was also authorized a Technical Intelligence Coordinator section of three people but seldom filled it as we in CMEC [combined materiel exploitation center] filled in for that section.

In Vietnam, we also had the 1st MIBARS, Military Intelligence Bn, Aerial Recon and Surveillance. This Bn had detachments all over Vietnam, usually near an airfield and a Corps Hq. Commanded by a Major who was really an aviator, they took air photos and took the exposed film to the airfield. The CIA flew a Porter plane [a short take-off and landing light aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Porter, a Swiss firm], nicknamed the Blue Goose around Vietnam picking up film and delivering finished prints. 24 hour turn around on film processing. It was also used for important courier duties. I sent shell fragments down to Saigon for fragment ID.

Most of the people in these sections were warrant officers, former NCOs with a lot of experience, and the few Lieutenants and some senior NCO/ EM filled out the section.  The OB section usually worked in the G2 section and kept maps, charts, OB books, etc.  For the most part M.I. officers did not screw up until they were captains and then it was a rare event.  While I was in Nha Trang, the Captain in charge of the IPW section was relieved and sent to Saigon.  The senior Lieutenant replaced him.  The captain was a bit of a jerk and I was glad to see him depart.  Much to my amazement, he ended up as my room mate in Saigon!  Some of the OB section officers filled in as G2 TOC [tactical operations center] watch officers, taking down spot reports from the units in contact.

The MIBARS Detachment in Nha Trang operated from trailers at the AFB and seemed to do a lot of picture taking of nurses screwing their boyfriends in rubber boats off the coast.  That and taking pictures of the Buddist Temple in Nha Trang and passing out pictures of it with "Best wishes Budda" written on it.

Posted by: William L. Howard, Jan 21, 2005

From Comcast.net:  

Great to read the remembrances here. I was a 96D2T II and I showed up in Jan.1969. My welcome experience was very similar, the CQ sent me down to Casual Company (I think this is where John Dean served his Watergate Sentence) and the first guy I met was Paul Benoit. He asked me what my school was and when I told him I was an II he said, "You're going to Nam, all the 96 Deltas do...".  I had just come off Christmas leave and my orders had me reporting on 12/31 which I recall was a Friday night.  The CQ told me to get lost until Monday if I wanted to, but I didn't have the money to go back home to Connecticut so I just hung out.  I think I was in Casual for about a week and then we were assigned to a school.  We were the PM class which ran from noon to 6PM.  That was great because we didn't have to get up until 9:00AM.  I really liked my time at the Bird and I was hoping that I could get back there after I did my time in Nam (1st Mibars Det B in Danang 5/15/69-4/15-70) but no such luck,  I went to the 66th MI Group in Munich (that is a whole other talk show).  Benoit and I were assigned to Det B as "brothers" but he was killed by a Marine who was stealing his jeep about half way through our tour.

Our Bay in Building 36, as I recall, was a small one that looked out at the railroad tracks that ran through the post.  On Friday nights we would watch as the new guys would arrive by bus from Dix and Basic.  We got the idea that they needed some discipline so I dressed up as a Drill Corporal.  I had a Smokey Bear hat, and I was an acting jack squad leader, so I would go down and meet the bus and dole out the standard ration of harassment that these poor souls were all expecting.  I would bark at them trying to scare them into thinking that Basic was a picnic compared to what they were in store for at the Bird!  Because they were all expecting this very treatment they were only too obliging.  I don't know why I didn't get punched out when they saw me around post in the weeks following when they realized how civilized the Holabird experience was.

Remember the Friday night cattle shows at the 123 club?  My memory is very dim from those days, but I remember going to them and watching some of my classmates getting drunk and dancing with girls they would never approach under any other circumstances.  Dancing to "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells.  God it was pretty lame.

I really had a good time, made great friends, and learned a lot there.  Then when we graduated from II [imagery interpretation] school, they sent us over to Ft. McNair for a week's TDY at the Behavior Research Lab in D.C.  We were asked to read out photos in the A.M., and then we were out on the town during Cherry Blossom time from noon on.  It was a nice way to leave for Nam.

Posted by: magaremko@comcast.net at July 15, 2005 09:05 PM

From Grunt Space:  

Trying to locate: All members of D Det 1st Mibars
Branch of Service: Army
Unit was: D Det 1st Mibars
Where served: Nha Trang Viet Nam
When served: 1966 to 1970

Message is: I am looking for the men that served with D Det 1st MI Bn (ARS) in Nha Trang Viet Nam. We have a web site, http://www.military.com/HomePage/UnitCreatedPage/0,11003,731539,00.html, where we can meet and put in some memories, find old friends. Reid, Dickerson, Linsey, are you out there? Contact me or go to the site.  David Butler, 4127 SW 74th ST, Jasper, Florida 32052.

David Butler

Date: Not Noted

From Vietnam Veterans of America  

Wish to contact 1st MI Bn. (ARS) who were present in Saigon during Tet 1968, especially MSG Brice Gilson, MSG Larabie, SP5 Pete Slesichenger, SFC Lasalle Forbes, Cpts. Robinson, Kriesel, and Troth; Maj. Korff, Maj. G.J. Walker, Lt. Cmd. Anthony Matta. Contact: James E. Green, 15015 108th Ave. E., Puyallup, WA 98374

Posted by:  Not Stated

March/April 2004

From Vietnam Veterans of America  

Looking for members of 1st MI Bn. (ARS), Vietnam, July 1967 to June 1968.  I was S1 Sgt. in Saigon (HHC). Contact: James E. (Jim) Greene, 15015-108th Ave. E., Puyallup, WA 98374; 253-892-2009;

Posted by:  J E Greene

February/March 2001

Source: Not Noted  

Looking for anyone who served with 1st MIBARS, HHC, Saigon, or Det. B, Danang, June 1967 to September 1968.  I was a photographer and have pictures of each detachment group and of Hotel HQ/Billet on 121 Chi Lang St.  Contact: Mitch Alvins, 194-3F Smith St., Freeport, NY 11520; ma516@netzero.com

Posted by: Mitch Alvins

Date: Not Noted

Via E-Mail   

[David Butler was with MIBARS from June 1967 to June 1968 and went back to Vietnam in 1970.  He was with the Headquarters Company for about a month then transferred to Detachment D in Nha Trang.  He was a crew chief on a U-6A Beaver and crew chief on a UH-1 Huey that D Detachment also had.]

[In response to the question of how D Detachment was able to obtain a helicopter when other MIBARS detachments were provided with fixed-wing aircraft, David wrote the following:]  

"Major Harman was a pilot for D Detachment, and he was Huey rated.  So he, (being Field Grade and all), just went and got us one.  We had two different ones. Attached is picture of me in front of one of them, with a KIA.  No, I didn't kill that poor bird, but I did help eat him.  I did help kill a deer though.  An M-60 from the air does not give a deer much of a chance.  Alas, that was the only two KIA's we had.  We used the Huey the same way the Beavers were used.  We just looked better in the Huey.  Young cowboys you know."

[David also provided the following]:

The story [below and to the right] is about two Good Guys from Headquarters Company.  It was TET, January 1968, at HHC, 1st MIBARS.  I ask Kevin Leahy if he remembered the incident below and he emailed me with this. It is a very good account of what happened.

"Two air platoon guys – Allan Asay and David (?) Gray – were detailed to go to the air base and Get one of the planes ready for the usual flight schedule. The pilots would be coming from the officers compound over near the front gate.  Asay, Gray, and one more guy from the motor pool, (I don't remember his name right now, but it was Latino), took a jeep and headed out for the back gate of the Air Base before we really knew what was going on. When they got there, it was closed, and abandoned.  While they were stopped and deciding what to do, someone rolled a grenade under the jeep. The jeep flipped over, but all three were thrown clear . . .

Photo: Crew Chief posing with magnificantly-plumed  bird beside a UH-1 helicopter

Photo Credit: David Butler

". . . They got into a ditch, and took some fire from the buildings in front of the gate. The motor pool guy said he was going to go for help, down the road into the base. Apparently he only made it a few steps before being hit in the hip.  Asay laid down some cover fire with his M-14 for Gray, and Gray pulled the motor pool guy back to the ditch. They bandaged him as best they could and kept firing at the buildings. I don't know how long it was, but the ARVNs finally sent an armored car to bring them into the Air Base. Asay and Gray got Army Commendation Medals w/V Device (for valor), and Gray got a Purple Heart (medic taking care of the motor pool guy saw a rip on his T-shirt and blood on his back, he did not even know he had taken a small flak in his back from the grenade). The motor pool guy got a Bronze Star w/V Device & Purple Heart."

E-Mail From David Butler, March 2005

Talkabout Network  

DaNang, First Marine Battalion. 1970.  There's an EM [enlisted men’s] club in DaNang and right in front of it 1st MIBARS, that is, a Army U.S. military intelligence unit. On the main road leading to the EM club they had a USO place hosted by a of couple older American Women. Speaking of 1st MIBARs it was pretty amazing. I once came out of the bush filthy as a pig in slop and a met a rear-echelon-m********** from the Mibars unit who let me take a shower in his room. These guys were living in a former French hotel, two guys to a room, color television, ceiling fans, hot and cold shower, and get this -- ****** maid service! I couldn't believe it. I walked into his room and this beautiful 17-year old Vietnamese chick was ironing his shorts. Then when I go into the shower she takes all my clothes. I had my 16 in the bathroom with me, so I grabbed a towel, wrapped it around me, locked and loaded and went out there ready to kill somebody. Out back in the patio there she is washing my fatigues in a steel bucket. "Me wash you clothes. No worry. Me dry fast. It's ok." Funny thing, watching her squatting on her hunches like that I could look right down her shirt. It didn't take long. I had been in the bush two weeks. So, just like that I got this ******, I'm talking about a real *******magilla. She sees it too, gets a gleam in her eye and says, "Oh, you me wash that too? Heheheh. It's ok, I give other G.I. Boom-Boom all the time too." Talk about ****, shower and shaved, I ****, showered, shaved and the best *** and **** job of my life that day all in the space of an hour.

Posted By: Bull Connor

May 4, 2004

Vets With A Mission



I served with the 45th Military Intelligence Detachment [1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support)] from May '68 until May '69. My unit was located in Phu Bai (at Camp Hochmuth); and our billets were situated about 100 meters from the XXIV Corps HQ (formerly 'Provisional Corps Vietnam'). Sometime near the end of my tour, the 45th MID was re-named 'E Detachment'.  Does anybody out there know where I can find any records of mortar, rocket, or ground attacks that occurred during the time I was there in Phu Bai?  I need documentation in support of a . . . claim I have filed with the VA . . .  Thanks for any help

Posted By: Bill Tower

October 03, 2005

Witness I:  By The Men Who Were There

Witness II:  By The Men Who Were There

Return to 1st MIBARS In Vietnam! Main Page