Andrew R. Ansenberger's Page
Below are some photos sent to me from Andrew R. Ansenberger. Andrew was with the 300th Transportation Company, 71st Trans. Bn., from April 67 to March 68. The 300th TC was assigned the mission of handling Army
air cargo at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Here is Andy's story.
|My First Three Weeks In Country As A Perimeter Security Guard At Bien Hoa Air Base
|Guarding A Plane Crash At Bien Hoa Air Base
My name is Andrew R. Ansenberger. I was drafted three weeks after graduating from high school and went in the Army in September of 1966. After basic training at Fort Campbell and AIT at Fort Polk, I was sent to Vietnam in
March of 1967 with an 11B10 light weapons infantry MOS. My first three weeks in-country were spent in a security platoon on the Bien Hoa Air Base perimeter. ( The three photos above were taken from that time period.) When
the 173rd Airborne moved to Bien Hoa, the security platoon, part of the 537th Pers Svc Co., was disbanded and I was reassigned to the 1st Log Command, HHC USASUPCOM - SGN, and began an 11-month assignment as a
member of Army Air Cargo. Our working days were spent at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Our billets were located a few miles north of Saigon in Gia Dinh province, in a compound known as Camp Red Ball.
Gia Dinh Street
Army Air Cargo joined with the Red Ball Express on and off for the 11-month period that I was a member. We were never an "official" detachment to a company, but were a sub-group of the US Army Support Command -
Saigon Support Command, and later under the 4th Transportation Command, 71st Transportation Battalion, 300th and 368th Transportation Companies (I only knew about being in the 368th Transportation Company because it
was listed on my going home orders. I must have been transferred the last couple of weeks in-country.)
| Camp Red Ball Swimming Hole
|Andy Ansenberger - Hot Day With The Kids
Other than the drivers that went back and forth to Long Binh for administrative duties, we had no connection with our company. None of us met our First Sergeant or Company Commander that I know of. We all lived as a
happy family at Camp Red Ball with other transportation units, mostly truck transportation units, post office, and the mortuary personnel. I was at Long Binh when I was processed into the unit, to get promoted to Sergeant, for
a one day r&r after the Tet Offensive, and to process out of the country at the end of the year as the last stop before the 90th Replacement Battalion.
We worked two shifts, day and night, 6 to 6 each day, with a day off every month or so. Our job duties included getting the Army cargo from the Air Force, sorting and loading it on trucks, both military and civilian, for
distribution around the country. We handled most everything except food (we did handle a pallet of pizza sauce for the officer's club and a load of rotten pineapples once. The sergeant had the pineapples shipped anyway. He
said that we needed the tonnage numbers.) or ammunition. Normal cargo included hospital supplies, coffins, engines, swamp boats, artillery gun barrels up to 175mm size, clothes, forklifts, and just about everything else.
| The Magic Word Was Tonnage
|Moving Cargo Around At Tan Son Nhut Air Base
|I learned words like PSP, TCMD, Stevedore, conex, ETS, nomenclatures, 54-Hotel, short-timer and others that I still remember to this day. I still know how to say the alphabet from Alfa to Zulu, use terms like 1ea to describe 1
item and can count from 1 to 100 in Vietnamese (Mot Hi Ba Bone Nam Sow Bi Tom Chin Mui, etc.)
I was fortunate to have worked in an auto repair shop after school before entering the Army. I knew how to fix tires, change oil, and to figure out how the unit's forklifts and light trucks could be maintained and fixed. After
showing the sergeants that I could set points, clean battery posts, clean air filters, tell the difference between a dead battery and a bad starter, break down truck tires with only a crow bar and hammer, etc., I was relieved of the
duties of writing TCMD's and driving forklifts. I was made the unit's mechanic and in January, 1968, I was made the unit's Motor Sergeant E-5, with a 63C40 MOS (even though I couldn't recite any of my "General Orders" that
I was supposed to know at the promotion ceremony).
|Repairing Tires On The Forklift
Paul Clamp At Headquarters Andy - Motor Sergeant
We had a very poor or usually non-existent phone system between our unit and our home unit, the 300th Transportation Company at Long Binh. I was told in unofficial terms to fend for ourselves when it came to obtaining
automotive parts for our fleet of forklifts and light trucks. I got most of the parts from trading with the Air Force. They always seemed to have plenty, and as the year went by, I got pretty good in the art of bartering.
|Celebration Time - Happy New Year
Clowning Around With One Of The Vietnamese Workers Five Minutes Of Monsoon Rain
|All The Equipment Lined Up And Ready
|Since I was a one-man motor pool for 4 or 5 months, I owe a lot of gratitude to the Air Force and the civilian mechanics that worked for Pacific Architects and Engineers on information on vehicle repairing. One of the civilian
mechanics told me to sign up for PA&E after my tour of duty and I could earn up to $18,000 a year working as a civilian mechanic in Vietnam. I never did take him up on the offer.
Dave Belwaneamy - Likes Pictures Dave Distahoerst
The fleet consisted of civilian type forklifts made by Hyster, Clark, Baker, and Towmotor. We had a dock mule made by Chrysler, a military jeep for our commanding officer, 1st Lt. Maurer, an Econoline van for the messengers,
Schu and Clamp (nobody knew anyone by their first names), and a flat bed Ford F-500 truck that transported us back and forth between Tan Son Nhut and Camp Red Ball.
After the first 4 or 5 months, another mechanic joined me and things got better. I was on the job about 6 or 8 months when I learned that I was supposed to keep log books on all the vehicles and perform ESC's. The Lieutenant
and I then went to what I think was the 4th Transportation Command Headquarters at the Le Lai Hotel for a crash course in log books. I then spent a few days in writing log books back to the beginning of time. I don't
remember too many names since about 35 years have gone by, but do remember Lt. Maurer, Sam. The names: Lt. Zumwalt, Sergeant Mathes, Gerald Williams, Jim Herrel, Charles Long, and Sp/4 Price and many more. If I
think hard, a few more names might come back to me.
Photo taken from Newport Bridge looking down at Newport Terminal. Newport Terminal was operated by the 71st
Transportation Battalion, which we were also attached to but never worked or billeted with. Probably took this photo
on the way to Long Binh.
Sp/4 Price was the only member of Army Air Cargo/Red Ball Express that was KIA in the 1968 Tet Offensive at Camp Red Ball. I had only known him for a short time. I was assigned to crate up his personal belongings to ship to
his family. We heard that others from other units at Camp Red Ball were killed, but I don't know that for a fact. Hubert Price and an old sergeant were behind a woodpile that was blown up by an artillery round. The South
Vietnamese had an artillery battery up the road in Gia Dinh. Their compound was overrun by the VC and the VC then trained the 105's on us. Many were injured and some had to be flown out by medical helicopters. I was hit
in the shoulder by shrapnel but wasn't put out of service. When going to Long Binh for a one day r&r, I was cleaned up and sent back to work the next day. Later, when I got back to the US I received a Purple Heart.
|Damage To Officers' Quarters At Camp Red Ball
Tet 68 Anxious Rest Time Our Home After Tet 68
|Our church at Camp Red Ball was also damaged during Tet 68. I remember going there for the service they had for Hubert Price after he was killed during Tet 68. *** 2 February 1968 ***
|This home was located north of our position at Camp Red Ball. The father of the family reported the next day that
his wife and five children were killed in it the first night of Tet 68, when a round went through its roof. All burned to
|Bringing In The New Year Of 1968 - Little Did We Know What Would Be Happening In Just A Few Weeks
|Below - Some Of The Vietnamese Families That Lived Near Camp Red Ball
|Hope you have enjoyed looking at my photos. It would be great to hear from some of you.
Email me from here. Andrew Ansenberger
|Billy & Sue - B.J. Thomas & The Triumphs - 1966
Me With The M-60 - Looks Like Shower Time
Cargo From The Air Force
|Monsoon Clouds - Always Fun Working In The Rain
|Herb Schu Reading His Mail
|Another One Of The Officers' Quarters
|Campbell The Sign Painter
|Gerald Williams And My Foxhole