Email Correspondence from VCM Brothers

Date: 03/02/06 12:12:38
Subject: Re: Good Morning you two.
Thank you for the information on the Life magazine article. If you could send me a copy, I would greatly appreciate it. My address is Martin Cannon, 101 Belvedere Avenue, Belvedere, CA 94920.
I assume the picture in the email you sent us is of you - is it? We have all changed so much that it is hard to recognize much.
You are very kind to send you thoughts and feelings to us.
Best to you.
Martin Cannon

From: Simpson, Jim
Date: 03/01/06 08:18:16
Cc:; w0ebb
Subject: RE: [Spam Check]: Re: [Spam Check]: Vung Chua Mtn
Don't remember Captain Carzolli. Seems like the 232nd. was in between CO's at the time that I arrived. I was a scared young kid then and don't remember too much about the first couple of months.
I took the liberty of forwarding a couple of emails that I have received. Bill Curran worked in the orderly room for Jim Balkcom and Gary Auchard was our radio repairman. There is also a web site for the 362nd. Tropo guys ("Hang Loose With The Deuce"). Check out that guestbook. Seems to have hundreds of entries.
Unlike the rest of you guys, I am not yet lucky enough to be retired. I'm currently working on a project in Ft. Lauderdale which isn't all bad this time of year considering that I live in Minnesota.
Take Care and Have A Good One -
Jim Simpson
From: [" title="" title=""> [">" title=""> []
Sent: Wed 3/1/2006 1:13 AM
To: Simpson, Jim
Subject: [Spam Check]: Re: [Spam Check]: Vung Chua Mtn
Thanks for the response. We were definitely there the same time, as Lt Kline was directly across the hall from me in the BOQ along with Lt. Johnson, I think that was his name. You must have know Captain Carzolli also. Do you keep up with anyone else from your time there? Jim Balkcom and I have stayed in touch since those days, and I just went to his 60th birthday party last year. I came to Vung Chua on 2/70 and was there till I was sent to battalion HQ down in Quin Nhon.  I remember when Sgt. Simon was killed when he was a bit out of control, stole a deuce and a half, and had an accident as he went down the mountain. I was on R&R then and it was horrible news to come back to.
It is amazing how much has happened in our lives and the world since that experience. Kids today do not even know where Vietnam is, more less care. The experience in Iraq seems so different, but fear is still fear no matter where it is. I remember guard duty and driving up the hill in the evening in those deuce and a half's and being terrified. We were lucky we were never attacked directly.
I think we all did a lot of growing up there, and were better people for it. It taught me freedom is not free.
I am retired living outside San Francisco, trying to squeeze in a little golf, taking care of kids and doing as much reading as I can.
Try going on Google and entering "Quin Nhon, Vietnam" and see if you see anyone you know from the results. That is how I came across your name. There seems to be a pretty good log from guys who were in the 362nd Signal Company. I am going to forward this message and yours onto Jim Balkcom as he is trying to collect names of people who were there. Do you remember Leonidas Lake or Sgt. Frederick Rohaley?
Best to you and your family.
Martin Cannon

From: Simpson, Jim
Date: 03/01/06 07:59:40
Subject: FW: [Spam Check]: Re: Hello Jim!
From: w0ebb []
Sent: Fri 2/24/2006 11:58 AM
To: Simpson, Jim
Subject: [Spam Check]: Re: Hello Jim!
Welcome Home to you to Jim,
Yep, that's me...."Ever Tortured Bugs?"  I don't know where they came up with that one, but I guess it fit.
I'm not sure if you can call me normal or not.  I guess you would have to define that term.  We sure did have a few psycho's on VCM but as a whole, they were not bad people and you could trust them.
That's great you're working for an electrical engineering company.  Just goes to prove not all returning Vietnam Vets were pot heads and hung up on drugs.  I never got into that scene and couldn't understand those that did I guess.
I retired from the Xerox Corporation about 20 months ago after 32 years.  Had a very successful career staying in the electronic end of things and ended up the last 22 years there as an instructor teaching the repair and operation of all the different equipment.  My wife works there too and will retire in two years with 30 years tenure.  She's in charge of all of the laptop computers, pagers, cell phones and Blackberry's the technicians use.
Like you, I've had a couple of wives.  This is my second marriage and it has lasted over 25 years so I guess I'll hang on to the old gal after this long  She's pretty good and puts up with me so that's not bad.  Sure beats the hell out of the first one.
I used to make trips to Minnesota with Xerox for meetings in the twin cities area.  Too bad I didn't catch up to you sooner.  We could have met then and had a beer or dinner.
I'm glad you mention SP4 Lee's first name.  I couldn't remember what it was.  He was getting a bit odd there towards the end and I was glad to see him get to go home.  I liked him and we got along pretty well.
I never got into the motorcycle thing.  I thought about it, but elected to not make that another hobby I would spend a lot of money on.  My current hobbies are Ham Radio, Bluegrass music, woodworking, Garden Railroading and hot air balloons.
We just returned from a trip in January to a place called Bluff Utah.  Not much there in the way of a town, but the area is beautiful.  We flew for three days and had a great times.  We also fly in Raton N.M. over the 4th. of July and Albuquerque in October for the big balloon fiesta held there every year.
Last year in Raton, one of our pilots is a Vietnam vet and he took another old Vietnam vet friend of mine up for a ride on the 4th. of July.  Our balloon is red, white and blue stripes so that's about as patriotic as you can get  This Vietnam friend was from another unit I was assigned to after leaving the 232nd.  In May of 1971 I was transferred to the 175th. Assault Helicopter Company down in Vinh Long at the Army airfield there.  I ended up working on helicopter radios for the final few months of my tour in Vietnam.  I still keep in touch with two friends from that unit.
Finding you now makes 4 guys I've located from the 232nd. Signal Company.  The last one was Harold Eubanks from Oklahoma.  I don't know if you remember him or not.  He was a real young kid of about 18 and was from Muskogee Oklahoma.  He ended up working over at the VHF site at Market Time.  He's also into motorcycles.
I'm like you....I have three kids, 5 grandkids and now 2 great grandkids.  Damn I'm feeling old before my time.  One daughter lives in Montana so we get to make trips up there a couple of times a year and that's great.  My wife and I like to hike, travel and see new places so we are gone a lot when she can get away from work.
That's enough about me.  I'd better let a working man get back to work.
I hope sometime we can all get together and drink a beer again.  That would be great.
Keep in touch and take care.  It's great to hear from you again.  Don't get lost.
Gary Auchard
34058 167th. Street
Leavenworth, Kansas  6048-9473
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Simpson, Jim <>
    To: w0ebb <>
    Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 9:42 AM
    Subject: RE: [Spam Check]: Hello Jim!
    Welcome Home Gary! 
    As soon as I saw your name, I could visualize that picture of you, "Ever Tortured Bugs?"
    Of course I remember you. You were the normal one, not a psycho like the rest of us. That's a compliment!
    Bill and I have emailed quite a bit and I talked to him on the phone once. Seems to be doing well.
    I am currently working for an electrical engineering company, designing control systems for production lines and such.
    I enjoy the work and I get to travel around some. This year I have spent 3 weeks in Houston and 3 weeks in Ft. Lauderdale.
    Nice break from the Minnesota winter!
    I also remember Raymond Lee. We were good friends for quite a while but then he got kind of weird. Too much time on the mountain with no R&R.
    About 5 years ago, I bought myself a motorcycle and have been going to hell in a hand basket ever since!
    Life is good. Kids, grand kids and a couple of wives (not at the same time).
    Well, I'm not retired yet so I had better get back to work. Keep in touch.
    Have A Good One -
    Jim Simpson
    Wunderlich-Malec Engineering, Inc.
    5501 Feltl Road
    Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343
    952-933-3222, Ext. 160
    Cell: 952-290-0715
    From: w0ebb []
    Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 4:17 PM
    To: Simpson, Jim
    Subject: [Spam Check]: Hello Jim!
    I hope this is you're current email address.  I found it on a website on the internet.
    I'm hoping you remember me from Vung Chua Mountain.  We were both in the 232nd Signal Company in the VHF section.
    I was the guy that repaired all of the TRC-24 equipment and had a repair shop at the entrance to the building housing the VHF equipment.
    I also slept across the hall from you and shared bunk beds with SP4 Lee.
    If you have the unit book published at the time we were there, my picture is in it along with several of yours.
    I found Bill Curran last fall and I'll be visiting him sometime late this summer.
    Hope to hear from you soon and wonder what you're doing these days.
    I'm retired and taking life easy now.
    Gary Auchard
    Leavenworth, Kansas

Date: 03/08/06 20:43:59
Subject: Re: Holts
Capt. Jim, yours to keep. Not a worry. Sign up with our post, I wont make ya attend a meetings, not to worry. Ive been talking to our web master for the VVNW. she said she would be game to help creat/manage a VCM web page. Any thoughts? She's good but only as good as the information she receives. I think it would work. We could ask for a donation from our VCM members to support the page. Just Brain storming at this point.
Capt. I will tell you, first of all, it's hard for me to except complements. Second of all, you helped to make me the way I am. What would have happened if you declined the fund rasing for Holts, I could have went down hill real fast, no pun intended (VCM hill). But no, you supported me in every way in addition to copying the letters and news clippings and giving them to me. I would have never had them other wise. You didn't have to do that being busy with VCM but you did. For this, Bill Curran is who he is. Thank you.
IM headed for Vegas with Sue at 5:00 PM tomorrow, wont talk to ya till we get home next week. They are calling for 60 tomorrow here in Ohio, I heard 50 out west. Still, cant wait.
Let me know what ya think of the VCM web page. I haven't talked to anyone else about it.
Take care Jim.

From: James R Balkcom
Date: 03/08/06 20:07:23
Subject: RE: Holts


Just received and read your mailing about an hour ago.

So sad about VCM in the Life mag.

I thought we were pretty strac and took pride-remember when we won

the 1st Signal BDE Site of the quarter. I thought our security was pretty good.

I know we blew anything away that even smelled of a penetration, not to

mention firing on our sensors. What a shame!!

You have been a great patriot and humanitarian.

God Bless you and your BIG heart.

Would you like any of these items back?

You tell Sue she is married to one of America’s best. Thank you

for all you do, and for the soldier you were on Vung Chua.



-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 7:06 PM
Subject: Re: Holts


Hey Capt., did you get the mailings? Sue and I are leaving for Vegas tomorrow. I'll be home Monday night. Headed for NASCAR race. I hope you think all the things were cool.

From: James R Balkcom
Date: 03/08/06 21:17:22
Subject: RE: Holts

Great picture.

I am a technical midget and have no idea what a web page would entail or cost, but I’m all for it.

Have fun in Vegas.

“Good night from Vung Chua Mountain.”



-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: Holts


Capt. Jim, yours to keep. Not a worry. Sign up with our post, I wont make ya attend a meetings, not to worry

From: Simpson, Jim
Date: 03/02/06 16:06:25
To: w0ebb
Subject: RE: [Spam Check]: Re: Sgt. Nipple
One night, I rode shotgun on a deuce and a half with Deweese (can't remember first name) driving. He's the guy who took care of the electronic sensors on the side of the mountain. We took the maids down the mountain and came back up with a load of "girls". We stopped at the main gate and waited for the guard to open it. As we started to pull forward, the truck slipped out of gear and we rolled backwards stopping just short of crashing down the mountain We ended up taking our cargo back down to the village and then returned empty. All kinds of people were mad at us because they had to have sex with themselves that night!
Remember our dog named Sue? She had some puppies that we named Beefeater, Airborne, can't remember the rest of the names. I have pictures of her in a cardboard box with the newborns. One of the pups ended up with Bill Curran. Damn thing kept running away so we would tie him to the bumper of a deuce and a half. Bad part is someone drove that truck all the way down the mountain with the puppy still attached.
How about the monkey, Hank. I also have several pictures of him. We were waiting for a chopper that was bringing Miss America (I think that's who it was) up to the mountain and I was teasing Hank with a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. He crawled all over my head trying to get the treat. I sent a set of pictures to Bill and I will send some to you if I ever get home again!
Gotta Go -
Jim S.
From: w0ebb []
Sent: Thu 3/2/2006 12:00 PM
To: Simpson, Jim
Subject: [Spam Check]: Re: Sgt. Nipple
Yes, I do remember that guy.  I wasn't there long before he shipped out, but
you can't forget someone I would classify as one of mother natures major
screw-ups.  He needed to be removed from the human gene pool.  :-)
I'm trying to remember the name of the E6 that moved in after he left.  He
worked in our VHF section along with SFC Chaco.
I received an email note from Jim Balkcom a few days ago.  It was really
great to hear from him and others in our company.  You always wonder what
happened to some of these people and it's always interesting to see how many
are still around and how they ended up.  It sounds like you're doing fine
and that's great news.
Were you still on VCM when the mess hall truck brake failed one morning and
rolled down the hill with a bunch of whores in the back?  How about the time
when we had to medivac SGT. Waters off the mountain one night.  He had
gotten drunk at the bar and fell over a 55 gallon barrel and cut his head
pretty bad.  I remember Cpt. Balkcom standing there watching me help load
him into the Huey.  I bet the Captain got an ass chewing for sending SGT.
Waters down the mountain in that kind of shape.  I was watching a video on
TV one night when they were dedicating the Vietnam Memorial in Washington
D.C.   It was put on by Nightline I think.  It had Jessica Savitch
reporting.  She died in a car wreck shortly after that presentation.  In the
video the news crew was going around to the different hotels in D.C. and
showing the Vietnam Vets and listening to their conversations.  There in one
of the pictures was former SGT. Waters.  I would recognize that drunken
stance of his anywhere.  At least he made it home and lived through 1982.
He lived in Sapulpa Oklahoma but I've never been able to find him.  Leroy
Meyers lived in Hastings Nebraska.  I haven't been able to find him either.
Do you remember when one of the guys that was supposed to be going on guard
duty one night was refusing to do so.  His SGT. chase him around our hooches
and finally the guy shot the SGT. in the knee.
I bet we could come up with hundreds of stories like these.  We need to have
a reunion for sure.  Our wives would think we were a bunch of nuts after
listening to some of our stories I'm sure.
Take care and keep in touch Jim.  Stay warm.
Gary A.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Simpson, Jim" <>
To: "w0ebb" <>
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:36 AM
Subject: Sgt. Nipple
Hello Again Gary,
Do you remember a guy who worked in VHF named Sgt. Nipple. He was about the
ugliest human being that I had ever seen. He hated life and everything about
it. Part of the problem was that he had been in the Army for 18 years and
had only made it to the rank of E5. Anyway, he had his own room in our hooch
near the front door. I usually worked nights so one of my duties was to wake
the guys up each morning. I'd walk up to his door, pound on it and yell
"Come on Tits, time to get up". He'd yell back at me and then I went on my
way. One morning though, I yelled at him and then I heard him lock and load
his M16. I think I set a world record for the 100 yard dash!
Have A Good One -
Jim Simpson

Date:  Wed, 26 Apr 2006 05:37:41 EDT
From:  "" <>
To:  "" <>, "" <>
Subject:  Re: VCM - My Locaton
hey thanks Larry, it was cool talking to you too. KitKat is our web master,
I am copying her in order to post your info.

It was good talking to you the other day.
I got a chance to look at your v v n w web site. Pretty interesting. I
enjoyed it.
Since I think your the most likely person to have contact with any Vung Chua
Mtn Vet I'm going to give you my home address for your archives in case anyone
should look for me. In particular the guys from the Tandem Switch, Vung Chua
Signal Support Detachment.
Larry E. Winter
N7796 Raspberry Road
Wittenberg, WI 54499
Larry E. Winter
Wittenberg Telephone Co. / Niagara Telephone Co.