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8th RRFS • Getting into ASA • Photo Gallery • Phu Bai Stories • Vietnam MARS • AB8AQ Ops Gallery • US MARS • Links



This site is meant to display the photographs and stories of my time in Vietnam (8th RRFS), but also contains some stories and photos of my time at Ft. Devens, Arlington Hall Station, and Two Rock Ranch.

I arrived in Phu Bai during the last of 'Big Tet'. Yea, what a time to arrive in 'Nam but there it is! -- Read on to see how I ended up in Phu Bai.



(3rdRRUDetJ, 8thRRU, 8thRRFS)


The 3rdRRU in Saigon (Davis Station) sent a detachment to Danang, "Det J". In January, 1963 they moved up to Phu Bai and in due course, by Nov '64, became the 8thRRU (same place, same people, different name).

The 8thRRU grew to become the 8thRRFS in October '66 and functioned as a full-service ASA listening post in Vietnam until Nov '72 when it moved back to Danang and finally left Vietnam in February '73.


3rdRRU Det J - Jan63-Nov64

8thRRU - Nov64-Oct66

8thRRFS - Oct66-Nov72

All were Trai Bac Station, Phu Bai

(by Curt Wayne)

Want to first know HOW I ended up in the Agency? (Click Here)

509th RRFS

Across the country to California again. Getting ready to fly out of Travis Air Force base an NCO calls out, "Anyone here for the 509th RRFS?"

About 6 or 7 of us step forward. "In here" he says, pointing to an empty hanger. --We follow-- He holds out a box of collar brass. "Take some new brass; Doesn't matter which. Remove your intelligence brass and put the new ones on." -- I got artillery brass.

A while later we're boarding the DC-8 for the 20+ hour trip to 'Nam. We're in there like sardines. I'm next to a guy with artillery brass. A REAL artillery guy! <sigh>

The questioning starts. You go to Ft. Sill (Oklahoma)? What's your MOS? You know so and so? About 2 minutes in he realizes I don't know BEANS about artillery and never been to Ft. Sill. He doesn't know what to make of me but doesn't speak to me again for the entire trip.

90th Replacement Company

We finally arrive in Bien Hoa and find our way to the 90th Replacement Company. I'm in HELL. Guys are detailed BURNING SHIT for god sake. The dust on the ground seems about 6 inches thick.

We're there about a half hour and a guy in a 3/4 ton drives up and asks us, "Anyone here for 509th RRFS?". The six of us step forward. We change money, grab our duffle bags and we're OUT OF HELL. OK! Only I'm still in 'Nam, but LOTS better where I'm going, I hope. I start to realize that this ASA thing seems to be a bit better than the regular Army. <G>

Getting my Assignment

I'm in a line at personal at the 509th. Listening to the HR specialist at the desk ask guys what their MOS's are --- 05H, 72B20, 98B, etc. When I get to the head of the line I get the same Question. 

Him: "What's your MOS?". Me: 84G20

Him: "84G20? What's that?" Me: Photo Lab Technician

Him: After looking at his printout, "We don't need one of those." Me: "Good, in that case I'll just catch a plane home!"

Him: "Oh wait, yes we do! In Phu Bai." -- Me: "Where's that?"

Him: "Up NORTH" Me: "Oh Shit"

Guy behind me: "No, no --- I spent my last tour there; it's great"

8th RRFS - Phu Bai

I find myself at Personnel again, only this time it's Phu Bai. Same SHIT, different DAY. Yada, yada, yada, ...

Him: After looking at his printout, "We don't need one of those." Me: "Good, in that case I'll just catch a plane home!" (this all sound familiar?)

Him: "Oh wait, we DO have a slot for an 84G20" -- Me: "I thought you might. OK, where's the photo lab?"

Him: "I don't think we HAVE a photo lab"

Long story, a bit shorter, I end up talking to the Signal Officer in Ops. He makes me 'Ops Draftsman'. Not knowing what a 'Leroy Lettering Set' was (I'm suppose to make charts), I last the better part of a week. <G> --- Capt says, "well, go over to the MARS station and see if you like it there." <sigh>

I cross the street and saunter into the MARS station and get the following hot poop from the Op on duty:

  • Civilian clothes

  • Private hooch with A/C - NO inspections

  • Hot Showers

  • Exempt from duty

  • Call home whenever you like

Me: "Well, I GUESS I can stand it" <G>

Result? 84G20 to DMOS: 05B20

Notes about MARS duty at Phu Bai

Updated: 3/26/06

Made corrections to
plane flight story -
Added MARS links



Comments and corrections can be sent to the author at:

timboyd1 at

(You know how to put this address together)

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