Ban Me Thuot 1967-1968 - photos courtesy Donald Woodside

After Donald first wrote, I asked what he could tell me about how my 362d Signal Company site outside Ban Me Thuot (BMT) had changed since I rotated stateside in 1964. I only saw the almost unrecognizable changes contributed by Bill Casey and Frank Hughes from 1968-1970. While their photos told the story well, I could not get my head around how it had all morphed over the years.

Donald wrote back: "As I recall the 362nd was next to us and our 60 foot dish was aimed at Nha Trang. I was there in 1967 and in those 3 years (from your pictures) that small air strip was really developed by the Army and the Air Force. We were supposed to get a phase three additional tropo shot to Pleiku but it never happened. During TET our compound got over run and a lot of the 155 AHC choppers were destroyed - after two days - elements of the 173rd Airborne were brought in to secure the area and helped the 23 ARVN Division secure BMT. Our site never went off the air but it was very tense for awhile."

"The 362nd site location - they were next to us with two smaller antennas on the twin towers - we were both located on the side of the air strip that had the well ventilated Esso gas station by it."

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