letter from Bud Seely
happened across your website dedicated to headquarters 3rd MAF.I have no idea how we could have served at the same location during the same time and not have run into each other. Nor do I recognize any of the other Marines on your website. I was at Camp Horn from mid-April 1968 through late November 1969. If my memory serves me correctly I was one of two or three enlisted men working in the Industrial Relations Office (IRO) in the building just to the right of the main gate as you enter the compound - one of the old French buildings. Seems like we handled the relations with the Vietnamese who worked at the Camp during the day. reported for a time to a SSGT McTavish (sp). I didn't spend as much time in the IRO as I did in the Security detachment which makes it all the more remarkable I didn't know any of the men on your site!I manned every post from the front gate, to the water tower (complete with hand crank siren manufactured in my then hometown of Blue Island, Illinois!), to the helipad next to the officer's club near the river, the post directly behind the PX where I pilfered Pepsi from the pallets right at the base of the guard tower.Wore the white helmet and red arm band I see in your pictures.I was housed on the first floor of the first barracks to the left of the main gate as you entered the Camp close to the door farthest from the gate.I remember either raising or lowering the flags during a time when the munitions dump across the street was exploding - not sure if because of a highly unusual rocket attack or careless handling of the contents.Highlight of my tour was being one of three enlisted men (from Illinois) to eat in the mess hall at the same table with Judith Ann Ford (reigning Miss America at the time also from Illinois) and being her escort to the launch on the river afterward for her return to Da Nang proper (of course with her officer escort joining her on the launch).I also remember participating in very infrequent evening sweeps of thevilles surrounding the Camp.In-country R&R at China Beach ( just down the road) with Korean Marines who couldn't stop singing "Love Potion #9"I spent a few weeks with the Marines of 3/7 outside of Da Nang (possibly and coincidentally Hill 37?) to learn how to set up and operate an 81mm mortar pit back at Camp Horn - not sure I remember we ever actually did set that pit up.Any of the above strike a familiar cord? I feel like I am trying to evidence I was actually there!I am attaching two pictures (I don't seem to have many) in the unlikely event you might recall seeing / knowing me. How many of us could there have been in Security? Do the names Ballenger (Shreveport, LA), Craig Whetstine (New Jersey), Smythe (Baton Rouge, LA) or Tony (Nino) Pecararro (Detroit MI) sound familiar to you? These are Marines I remember by name but did not keep up with laterSince I do not have many pictures - your site brought back many memories!
Thanks and hope to hear from you,
Monday, January 18, 2016
Howard Barnett 518-947-6379