Comments from the Visitors to our website.

I don't know how much, if at all, this touches your memories. My unit (H co. 2/1) left Khe Sanh on July 5, 1968. After walking from there to Calu (maybe 12 miles) overnight, we boarded trucks an, via Dong Ha, went toward the South China Sea. We spent two months along that river and it was dangerous territory for us. N.V.A. ordered to get into the south along eastern routes headed for and eventually reoriented themselves to the Cua Viet. The bad news, as I saw it, was you guys were always on the "duck pond." The good news was you were tenacious and on a fluid medium, and therefore, really presented problems once they struck. I remember the PBR personnel as focused and "just waiting to unload." Men who have tasted the sting of the enemy are like that. I felt comfortable while riding on the river with you guys. I, and my men, could actually relax a bit because we could see you "at the ready." Thanks for your courageous and effective work over there. Jerry Lilly

Hey coop, 
Don't sweat it man. I understand. I kicked the booze myself 16 years ago. I couldn't kick the nam thing ,and the two together were destroying me. Hey man I've been up at my cabin the last few days. Glad to hear from you and somebody who actually knows the score. Hope you are well. I remember you talking about your wife and how you liked going to the movies-once when we were at the air force club theater (not a bad memory for an old pickled brain snipe huh)? . I still enjoy matinees because of that. Ya know that whole episode brings tears to my eyes. Mostly the camaraderie we shared on that f#&kin river. I was on Shortly Sheltra's boat , you may remember him.I also rode with old Stringer and was up there so long they let me be a substitute boat captain a coupla times. Mostly on day patrol when I was short. We got into a doozie on a 3 lima patrol one night (on Shortys boat). Thats where I got the combat Action ribbon. Lost a coupla marines ,but ended up with about 30 or so kills.If it wasn't for those Army guys in those gunships things would have gotten really nasty. That three lima was a mother f$#ker wasnt it? I don't remember talking to you all that much up north but maybe a coupla times. You got the Silver star didn't you? Yeah I remember the "new cut" , we had a mine go off just as we went through one morning. I remember the ramp at Dong Ha, saw an old high school buddy of mine there one night , he was a jar head guarding the fuel. I remember that u-boat that was sunk right around two lima. A guy had a picture of it on military dot com , it was wierd seeing a picture of that boat again. Many a night I thought I heard ghosts on that old rust bucket. You remember that leper colony in Danang? And that old half sunkin jap ship? The stories go on and on. I think it was our boat (44) in Danang when we had that picnic on spanish 
beach and a coupla kids blew themselves up. Was that our crew? Well I'll stop the ramblin I have to get to bed, anyway, got to go to work tommorrow. Was glad to hear from you. Let me know if you need any stuff for your Book. Good luck to you, "keep your head down", "don't sweat the small stuff" and remember that ole saying "it don't mean nuthin"!!!! 
Talk at you later, 
Mike (your engineman)

Hiya Bill-- Just a quick ?, is your book available out there to be purchased yet or not, I'am very much interested in getting one, as several guys in my vfw club are. I can't tell you how much your little note an pics brought back some memorys of those years long gone---

Hi Bill...
You have described the Cua Viet River to a Tee.... I spent a lot of time going up and down that muddy, bank eatin shallow, sand bar infested stream. I was on the LCU 1499 from Aug 68 to 69 and remember it all better than most. I really liked your passage. I have also written a short story of my 1 year experience in country. It is kind of long to E mail to you but if you are interested I can figure out something. What did you do when you had the delightful experience of serving Uncle Sam. Were you attached to PBR's or small boats? How did you come across my E mail? I have many photos on many different sites and have signed many questbooks. Let me give you a few sites.... scroll down to members photos and look for my name. I also have video of I corp of the rivers and boats that I had transfered from 8 mm film I had taken while in country. I have been making copies and sending
it to all the brownwater sailors that seem interested. Let me know, talk to me brother... I am in contact with a lot of us brownwater sailors from I corp
Joseph Criscione

Hello Mr. Cooper. My name is Larry Bissonnette. I am presently the website coordinator for Gamewardens of Vietnam Association, Inc. I have become aware that you are writing/have written the subject book. On the Gamewardens website we have a "Ship's Store" page where we sell various items to the membership. I would be interested in talking with you concerning making your book available there as well. If you could put me in contact with someone or talk to me yourself, I would appreciate it. I was with River Division 593 during 1969 and have a ZIPPO lighter from River SECTION 543 when they were in Nha Be. Its inscribed to GM2 L. Vorhees Bronx, N.Y. Waiting to hear from you. Larry Bissonnette

I don't think I know you but thanks for sending this article to me, it brought back a lot of memories. If there is more to this story I would love to read it. 
Best Wishes,
Bill Walton

Hello Bill-- I just read our post on the PBR web site, I'am right below you, I was at cau viet late 68 an 69, was there when they hit our club with an rpg round, got my combat action ribbon on may 5 69, when we ran into an nest of nva try to cross river, have some pictures of the base, an ramp area. Where in AZ do you live, I have a brother that lives in north Phoenix, go out there every winter to get out of Minn. well have to run, I have a call to go on Stay Cool River buddy an WELLCOME HOME

hello stingray 12. This is Mike (Trojanowski) Wiley, now living in Northern California near Redding. I reported to Cua Viet in March 69. I was there, with 543 until we went down to Da Nang and Hoi Anh. There was that huge typhoon, I have pictures of the sunk MSB and the rock barge up on the LST 
ramp, as well as the pbr's up on the sand. I have a cruisebook from NSA Da Nang, and hear that there is a Clearwater cruise book out there some where. I would be happy to share my pictures, and anything else I might help with. I am interested in finding the unit diaries for 543. I just have not found a source. 
I am very interested in helping you, I think that we served in a unique area, most certainly with great guys. I am disappointed that there is not more acknowledgement of TF115. I have both of my beret's with the TF115 patch, and know that is who was above us in the Chain of Command. Gene Roemhildt, who lives sunny southern Minnesota, has a scanner set up and currently has all of my slides. If you e-mail him, you can ask how many of my pictures he can send you. I don't have a scanner yet. Please get in touch, 
Mike (I tried to contact Mike through email but he never again replied to my posts – Bill)

I was the Deck Division Officer on the USS TIOGA COUNTY (LST-1158) in 1967. We took a load of tanks, jeeps and Marines to DaNang, before going to The Long Tau River near Nha Be. We became the mother ship for PBR’s and supplied them with food, sleeping quarters,
ammunition and gasoline. We had 3 stops in Subic Bay for repairs.

After returning to the States, I volunteered to be a patrol officer on PBR’s and was with RIV DIV 571 from 2/69 to 2/70. We patrolled at Tuyen Nhon, Nha Be-Rung Sat Special Zone, upper Saigon River and Vinh Te Canal. I made over 220 combat patrols and with God’s help brought back every man alive with only 3 minor injuries. My patrols engaged the enemy 22 times. I
am not a hero and did not try to be one. I did not initiate a gunfight unless I thought we could kill or capture all of the enemy.

Those of us who were in Vietnam were doing our jobs just like teachers and carpenters were back in the U.S.A. The trajedies of death, injury, destruction, danger, loneliness, and broken hearts are real. As soldiers, sailors and airmen we did our jobs, but we are different, because we have killed others and shot at others with the intent to kill. Thousands of us needed help in order to become proper citizens and to recover from battle stress fatigue. I believe I have recovered from it and want to help others recover as well.

My book, Not A Hero, describes my experiences in the military. At the end I talk about recovery from being involved in war. Maybe you don’t need it, but you have a friend or relative who is still plagued with war related stress. Buy a copy and give it to them.

Check out my web site at
Thanks for the job you did in Vietnam.
Ron Fitts, LT.

Hi, My husband was in Section 543 and Cua viet '67 to '68 I believe. He does have photos. He is still a boat captain and out in the Gulf of Mexico right now. When he comes home I will have him contact you. Name is Gene Geiger. Ring any bells? 
Sue Geiger
San Leon, TX
(Near Galveston/Houston area)

I too am in search of pictures and stories. most of the pictures I had got destroyed in a flood we had here. I have three left. I will scan them and send you a copy when I get my scanner hooked up. I will have to think of any stories and try to put them on paper. My wife has been after me to do that for some time now. I read the excerpt from your book and it brought back a lot of memories and feelings. I will get back with you if I can come up with anything.
Bruce Meier

Good Morning,
I did not serve up north. Were the LCPL crews attached to NSA Danang Dets. If so what was your unit name and did you have any casualties? If you did have any KIA's, please send them to me so I can identify them correctly to the right unit. Go to my web site and look under NSA Danang and stroll down the list of casualties of the units that were attacted to Danang.
Ralph J. Fries
Coordinator USN/USCG Vietnam Unit Memorial Monument/Boat Display Project

My name is Eldridge Fowler and I was stationed in DaNang for 3 months in 1972. While there I was sent on a mission to Cua Viet which lasted about 12 days. I was a Advisor in Viet-Nam and held a diver classification. Our mission was not far from the rivers mouth at a Sea-Bee base. A small civilian survey boat (small tug) was blown up one night about two hundred yards from the Sea-Bee base. We were to recover the five bodies still on board and remove the wreck from the river if possible. If you were in Cua Viet your whole tour I sure don't envy you. That was one heck of a bad place. The sappers were terrible, sea snakes at that sink site were in abundance and extremely deadly. One good memory and I'm sure you also seen it at times was some nights these little floats about the size of your hand would float down the river. They would have a candle on each float with maybe some colored paper to give different light shades. There would be it seemed like hundreds of them stretched out for maybe a half mile or so. They gave off a beautiful glow during the dark nights. I was told that was a funeral custom and represented the dead persons soul going out to sea. There is a little more to this story but mainly I just wanted to say I'm glad you made it back. By the way the only two Americans that were on that boat when the sapper blew it up made it off the boat and to the Sea-Bea base. After the 3 months in DaNang I was sent to spend the rest of my tour in the Delta. Take it easy Bro!

Hiya---Just got your reply, I live in Lake City Minn, right on the Mississippi River, Wprk for the Police dept there, small one only 11 of us.I was with the Task Force Clearwater when I first got in country I was on one of the old river boats to start, the old heavy steel hulled ones, I worked mostly with the 3rd Marine Div, had 2 snipers that went out on night patrol with us, mostly all night patrols, then they moved me to PBR's then I was up an down the river from Cau Viet To Dong Ha an Quang Tri. I'am very happy to see that you are making a web sight on Cau Viet, can't wait, Like I mentioned before have some pics, but my first wife kinda did away with a lot 
of my stuff, if you know what I mean.

Bill--- This was great Just great, I'am still sitting here try to find myself, got lost in time for a while, Some things are staring to come back to me know, like Jones Creek forgot what we used to call that place, other things, also the Lima river sections, an the Lcpl's, an the other stuff, to 
tell the truth I'am sitting here with tears running down my face, so have to go, before the other guys get here, thanks again, this will be a day I won't soon forget-thanks again—Dennis

Yes, I was there in '69 with the Seabees. When we pulled out we had to burn or tear down all of our buildings. I was running the water treatment plant in our compound. We had also built a small walk-in freezer to make ice which we used the excess that we did not need to trade for SP packs (those boxes of goodies that had cigarettes, shaving cream, candy and a lot of other stuff in them). The insulation that we used in our walk-in freezer was mattresses and pillows that we had "liberated" from your area. Hope yours was not one of them :) 

Thank you for this. Gene will be enthralled. Are you the author? If not, how can we contact William Cooper? As a freelance writer/editor, I just want to say to him, "well done." As I read the words, they all sounded so familiar. Gene talks about the very same things, with little fan fare. He told me that every morning he'd wonder, "will this be the day I die?" But, he was not fearful of death. Like Cooper says toward the end, "I forever lost the fear of death." 

If you've not read "Flags of Our Fathers," you would be moved. Although a different war (WWII), certainly the same emotions. The author is the son of one of the men who erected the flag at Iwo Jima. The son tells how his father rarely talked about the war, but when he did, his statement was always the same. "I am not a hero. The real heroes are the ones who didn't come back." 

For all of you who did come back, welcome home. I am honored to be Gene's wife and look forward to meeting some of his long-lost PBR buddies at the next reunion. I understand there will be one in July 2002. 

Thanks again for sharing.


Hi Whomever You Are, I surfed in to the Cua Viet website and found it contact 
name, no other info. So what's up with the Cua Viet Org? I was there and closed it out.
Personal email:
David W. Schill
Newsletter Editor
Vietnam Era Seabees
PO Box 36781
Richmond, VA 23235

I-Corp, 3rd Boat Group, Lighterage Div, Tien Shah, NSA Danang....we ran boat ops throughout I-Corps, rivers & coasts. on you can find some unit photos from my time over in 'Nam.

First things first, WELCOME HOME!! I just happened across a MARS website while searching for something totally different and decided to take a look and found the link to the web ring, which brought me to your web page. Unfortunately I kept getting an error message when I tried to pull it up, so I thought I would try the E-mail route. Your site listing was the the first one that I saw that mentioned Cua Viet, and your message stating intentions of starting a CuaViet web page definitely interested me. A little about me, I was an RT forklift operator and also spent time in X-Division at NSAD Cua Viet from May thru December of '69, before moving down to Deep Water Piers at Danang for the remainder of my year. I was there during the Typhoon, the
one week the gooks actually let us keep the EM club open, I rebuilt the Officers row s#!tter that we awarded the Purple Heart, and was one of the three of us that discovered the Black Widow invasion. All fond memories that I had put into history for the past 30 years. I also have a few
pictures some where in the dusty boxes that I will be glad to share If the site is or gets up and running. I unfortunately have to get back to work right now but did want to make contact and request further info on the site when available. My name by the way is James Higgins, I was a GMGSN back in the days, and additional E-mail other than "reply" to my work address is I really do look forward to hearing from you, since I didn't keep in touch with any of our brothers from the "Nam", but have often wondered about a few, and hardly ever (more never) find anyone who has even heard of Cua Viet. Thanks for starting the site and piqueing my curiosity. 

Would please post this on your site?
The United States Marine Corps Vietnam Veterans Association would be honored to have you as a member. The USMC Vietnam Veterans Association has a restricted membership for Vietnam "in-country" Marine Corps and attached Navy personnel veterans, only. For more information drop me an email at: ( Be sure to enclose your complete name and address and I will add you to our roster and the newsletter, "Aye Corps" mailing list. 
Also, check out the information at the following web page to learn more: You can print a blank membership application from your screen, by clicking here: Be sure to visit our the official web site: 
USMC Vietnam Veterans Association
Semper Fidelis,
Richard Carey 
Founder/National Coordinator
Executive Board Members
Lt. Col. Ray A. Stewart, USMC (Ret.), Executive Director (
Federal Way, WA
Richard Carey, National Coordinator (
Cape Cod, MA
John Wear, Secretary (
New Hope, PA)
William Wright, Treasurer (
Deerfield Beach, FL
We are not affiliated with the Vietnam Veterans of America

Hi Bill...
These are most of the photos I have of Cua Viet and area. I checked out your web site for Cua Viet. Excellent photos. I remember aiming for that narrow mouth of the river during a storm and surfing through like a giant surfboard. 
Photo 1 YFU 62 about a month after it happened. Photo 2 PBR( of course) protecting one of our many slow voyages up the Cua Viet to Dong Ha LST ramp in background.
Photo 3 62 again.
Photo 4 Dredge near mouth of river
Photo 5 Marines of the shore of river at Cua Viet
Photo 6 Company of Soldiers we took from Dong Ha to Cua Viet for a weekend of R&R on board the LCU 1499
I mentioned a video I made from 8 mm movies that I took while in country. If you are interested let me know. It has a lot of footage of Dong Ha and Cua Viet and the river.
Joe Criscione LCU 1499

THANK YOU SIR. That is one of the most beautiful gifts I ever received in my entire life. Thank you for taking the time and caring enough to bother to send it to me. I am crying (NOT A LIE)... Chief, you and the rest of the 'Nam vets paid well beyond your fair share of dues. You were ignored and spat upon. I DIDN'T do that, and don't now. Nov. 11 is coming up, I will say an early THANK YOU, to you and all the rest that gave so much of themselves (NOT in vain), and STILL do, that I and others might be free. THANK YOU Chief, from the bottom of my heart, and may God (since you are a Christian, I don't know how else to phrase it) eternally bless you and your family with greatest good for all you have done.

I was stationed on the YR-71 in DaNang and made it to the Cua Viet area a couple of times before we moved south (Tan Chau) Enclosed are a few patches that I either wore or collected while in the area.

Also are two pages from "Changes 1970" the year book for NSA Danang and the different detachments. If you are interested I can Xerox them and send them to you. I can also copy the main history pages in the book and send them to you Cua Viet is mentioned several times and it has some information that you may find interesting.

I also have a plaque that was given to me from RivDiv 543 and can scan the emblem part if I can find it.

Steve Dall
MM3 YR-71
RVN 68,69, 70-71

Nice site. 
Vets Roll Call

Just a quick note to let you know I got your reply and the link and am impressed with a very good start to the site. It may take a while but I now have the address and will have to dust off some of the old albums, but will forward what I can. Thanks again for taking the initiative. 

nice job on site bill.i was attached to riv. div.521-mb1,from,feb 1968-aug 1969. i remember the days you guys stayed with us for a while.never made it to mouth of river .we patrolled a small river north of our location. tui two it was suppose to emerge into quang-tri city eventually.the river was so narrow we couldn't turn our boat around,now thats small.we also patrolled the perfume and tui tien that ended at cow hai bay.ther is a pic of me on our web site under photo's by jenkins.i think i'm on the middle photo,sitting foward gun trays,dave williams GMGsn.

I dont know how you found me, but that is ok, I checked out your site and I hope you find a all the guys from your unit that you can. My new site is up and on my personal page I have put a link to your site's/index.htm this site is (for right now) best seen in IE 5 and up. When I was over there my radio relay unit set up a radio site near your base, in the Quang Tri Province, in the late part of '68.

Good Luck

Louie Davis
Panama City, Fl. 
Semper Fi

Riverrat here. As a two time vietnam Vet. I was on the YRBM 16 2/67 to 12/67 when I got off after it was hit by an enemy mine. after two days of fighting the fire we finally got it put out. We lost two out of ships company and 5 out of river commands. The memories of that night I can still remember. I can often still see there faces. And I have tried to forget but I don't think that will happen. The allotment slap in the face is when we had to bring those people to this country. Yes I'm still a little bit bitter. Did we ever get even a thank you from those people NO. And where in GODS green earth are the rest of the P.O.W's that are still over there. I have a buddy who was over there who lost part of his right foot because of rocket sharp metal. And to this day he still a basket case. But he is doing better as long as he stays away from the booze. I went back for a second tour from 9/69 to 9/70 I was also on the YRBM 21 as a boat coxi'n. While was over there the second time I had a boat run to the YRBM 16 but when I got there I could not go on board because of the bad memories. I was asked years ago if I would ever go back and I said NO. Well I'm signing out
Riverrat Out

My stay there was around 10 hours. We delivered 1,800,000 cans of beer. I know, I counted the pallets. I'm working as a webmaster, and yes, I know how to scan. You can see my Cua Viet pics at this address: There are 10 shots I made there and you are welcome to use any of them for non-commercial uses. Keep up the good work.

Keep me posted on how it is going, and please keep in touch, I am glad I found you 

I am a retired army officer..........two tours......lst. Cav........4th. Inf. Div. Good site, keep it up!!!!!!!!

I new a couple of your guys from Mare Isl. Best Wishes Bob Jenkins GMG3 Riv Div 521 Tan My TF Clearwater

It appears that you are off to a good start on your web page and we at PBR Forces Veterans Association, Inc. (PBR FVA) wish you good luck in your endeavor. Thank you for signing our guestbook.
Cecil H. Martin. Vice President/Membership Chairman, PBR FVA

Who are you? Scott

I have a friend who produces documentaries for PBS. I have forwarded your web site to him. His name is Richard Coberly if he contacts you. May take months, but is something to think about. River boats got such little play during the war. It's time. 

Gene is out to sea right now, but will respond when returns. Am not sure how many more photos he has, but will check and send stories to match. Do you still have the previous ones? Will get details on those. Good job! Sue M. Geiger

Was just wondering....he was the same age as would be nice to find someone who knew the guy......I also "adopted" a Naval Reserve pilot who disappeared in '68...William Rickert......I am hesitant to try to contact the families..I would like to know what these men looked like but there are boundaries I don't want to cross. Not sure where to go to find out more. Are you familiar with the River Rats/Brown Water Navy organization? I joined it for Tom (I am always doing these things to him...ha)...good organization. 

I added a link to your my Da Nang page. I like your site. Monty Moore, USAF Sentry Dog Handler
Da Nang Air Base & Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Viet Nam, 1968-1970 VSPA K-9 Webmaster at

Good Job! I'm still searching for pics, will keep you posted. Keep up the good work, your web page made my skin crawl. I don't mean that in a bad way. respectfully, engineman

Thanks for telling me about your web site. It is very informative. Although I only saw Cua Viet from the deck of the USS Noxubee AOG-56 I was very familiar with the area. Your description is superb. Congratulations on a job well done. 
Paul Gryniewicz
Webmaster USS Noxubee

Hello, I just looked at your page, it is very well done. I created the page titled --Do You Know This Man? for my brother in law to try and help him locate the man in the photo posted there. After I heard his story and saw the photo, I decided to try and help him. I figured eventually someone would see the photo and recognize the man. We have recieved some nice emails from Veterans but so far none that know the man in the picture. I really enjoyed looking at your page and I wish you success with it. You have some very nice photos posted there. I have bookmarked the page. Would you mind if I added a link from Hung's page to yours? I think the Veterans who come in to look at the picture on Hung's page would enjoy visiting yours. Let me know. Have A Great Day !!!!! Shelia 

Thank you for sending your site address to us....We will be sure to watch as you grow. My husband was on the PBR's in '67....Mekong Delta River Rats...Section 512.....I have spent considerable time searching for some of his friends from that time. He is not into the web-building like I am...I have just never forgotten that time, nor his leaving for Vietnam...or his return......I have major respect for all that served on the boats and I have tried to create my own (from a woman's viewpoint) little altar to all that were there....You guys were brave beyond belief and I am glad that I didn't have access to the sight of a blown-apart PBR in those days. It was hard enough just being separated. 
Thanks again....
DiAnne (and Tom....who is out fooling around with his model railroad as I write this)

Great site have sent to our web master to put on the MRFA site as a link..... 

Beautiful piece! Hot beer and cold beans. That pretty well sums up that war. Awful experience. Awesome report. The graphics are just fantastic. 
Richard Palmquist:
246 La Camarilla Place
Nipomo, CA 93444

I looked at the photos once again; you and your crew had to have some REAL guts to go up river at night on a little dinky patrol boat, alone against the VC/NVA who knew pretty much when and where you would cruise by, and you don't have just a bunch of room on a river to manouver in. You can't get out at Mach 1 like the fly boys do if you get zapped either. Damn,... Chief,
that is REAL elegant...

Bill - Cua Viet website looks great. Takes a bit of time to load, but well worth it!
Felt like I was there with you when you described the ambush. Do you have a larger size picture of the photo entitled: "The moment before sunrise Cua Viet River"?
It is a beautiful sunrise and would make a really nice 'wallpaper' for a PC. Well, I'm off to continue preparing the vehicles for winter. It's coming. I can smell it in the air. Monty