History 1965-66

Intoduction: Via contact from a former enlisted individual very recently (early September 2013) assigned and with the 624th Quartermaster Company (Direct Support) the Company left Fort Riley Kansas in July 1965. On 25 August 1965 (per Order of Battle) the unit boarded the troop ship; USNS General A.W. Mann for deployment to Republic of Vietnam. On arrival the 624th, a lone Quartermaster Company (Direct Support) without a superior Battalion Command was first quartered in Cholon area of Saigon, and soon thereafter re-deployed for assignment as the very first Quartermaster Company (Direct Support) stationed in the somewhat (then) primitive outpost known as Long Binh, Bien Hoa Province, III Corps. In addition to clearing and setting up a cantonement area with field tents adjacent to Highwayt 1A, the 624th built their Mess Hall, and for the most part found themseves engaged in setting up and running an FSA (Forward Supply Area) in all areas tasked to a Direct Support Company (Class I, Class II&IV, Class III, L&B, Graves Registration and other as needed) for the general area and beyond. At the time, the 93rd Evacuation Hospital facility had not as yet arrived, but within a relatively short time period, did arrive, to set up their operation in Long Binh.

More to follow as time and further data is developed.


A) A Narrative - B) Pending - C) Pending - D) Pending - E) Pending - F) Pending - G) Pending - H) Pending



A) The follwing is a narrative submitted by Don Growe via 'Contact' after he found the site and responded to Rich Mallory's narrative in the 624th History - 1966-67 section.  Don also viewed the video link posted in the Message Board of the Long Binh Compound and surrounding areas from 1966.  Don arrived in country in September 1965 with the original 624th unit.  He departed Long Binh in April 1966.  Rich Mallory picks up from that very point when he arrived the same month and year. The following reflects Don's communications:


 Rich,

 Great to hear from you.  I would be glad to share as many memories of my time in the 624th as I can.  First off, you mentioned several names in your website.  I recognized one, Bobby Hertz.  We called him Hoss and he was from Moline,IL.  I managed to reconnect with him when he was at Ft. Dix in the fall of '66.  If by chance you know how to contact him, I would love to talk to him.  We had a mutual friend, Frank Liccione whom I am still in contact with.  The three of us spent a lot of time together at Ft. Campbell.  At the time we shipped out to VN in Aug. '65 anyone with six months or less left to serve got an early out?  I had eight months left.  We shipped out of San Francisco on the Gen. Mann.  Not a very pleasant trip; overcrowded, too hot to sleep below decks, had to spread a poncho on the outside deck to sleep.  As I recall the trip took about twenty two days with an overnight stop in Subic Bay.  We dropped off some troops in Na Trang then went on to Saigon.  When we disembarked onto LST's to go up the river to Saigon, Hoss, Frank and I cumshawed our mattresses off the ship and were the only troops in the company with somewhat comfortable sleeping arrangements.  We spent about two weeks camped  out in a rice warehouse in the Chinese section of town.  Cholon, I believe.

 After that we went out to Long Binh and set up a temporary camp about a half mile down Hwy. 1A from what would be our permanent location 
which was a rubber tree plantation at the time.  At our temporary camp we lived in GP large tents without floors.  We were there for a few weeks (Sept. '65).  After enough trees had been cleared out of our permanent location, we moved to what would be the home of the 624th.  There were no other units close by at the time.  The 93rd Evac hospital didn't move in until Nov/Dec '65 which is about the time he 506h came in.  During our first few weeks in our new home things were pretty rustic.  Until we got a decent mess hall built, we ate wherever we could find a place to sit.  The food wasn't that great.  The only meat we had was Spam.  Still can't stomach it to this day.  We had the same GP large tents with no floors or sides for a while. Another trooper (can't recall his name) and I made several runs into Saigon with a flatbed trailer rig to the docks where we talked some of the commercial  ship's crews into trading their dunnage for the use of our ration punch cards for cheap cigarettes at the PX. We managed to get enough lumber to build floors and sides for all of the Company's tents.  Frank and I built the open shower that I'm sure you'll remember.  The one with the solar heated rubber water tank setting on top of conex containers.  I don't want to make it sound like Frank and I did every thing to establish the Company, but we did quite a bit.  
 
We started the first beer/soda concession out of the back of our tent.  When a couple of sergeants (one was named Ellis can't recall the other) started a more formal beer hall we were "asked" by the company commander (can't recall his name, a thin fellow with glasses)* to go out of business.  We were glad to comply since trying to keep up with our regular work ( I was a stock records specialist, E4 and Frank was a equipment mechanic, E4), guard duty, kp and running the concession got to be a little too much.  We used the proceeds from our endeavor to throw a beer bust for the company. 
 
When I first contacted you, I misspoke when I said I left the company in March, '66.  I left in April.  I understand you arrived in April.  We could have been two ships passing in the night as they say.  I'm a little fuzzy on names of the people you might know.  The ones who come to mind are:  Lt. Abbot, Sgt William Reese, Sp.5 (cook) James Bond (no relation) , Sp5 Larry Chase, and Gale Johns.
In one of your photos (66-67) it shows two guys in their tent, one is lying on his bunk and the other is sitting on a bunk across from him.  The wooden wardrobe between them looks just like the one I bought in the village.  Made me wonder if it could be the same one.  Can't remember who I willed it to.  I have some photos of my time there and will dig them out and send them...(see Gallery 65-66)
I hope some of my info has been helpful.  If there is anything else I can help with let me know
 
 
Submitted By: Then SP4 Rich Mallory for then; SP4 Don Growe 624th QM Co (DS) ... later 624th S&S Co (DS) - 14 October 2014

NOTE:  * Per Lt Paul Walker (506th and 228th) The CO Don referred to in his narrative was Cpt Estes.  He was later replaced by Cpt Aikman.  This occurred March or April '66.  R. Mallory's picture of the old 624th QM Company sign has Cpt Aikman listed as the CO (although blurry).