Click banner to go to Collin County Freedom Fighters



Maintenance Battalion came into existence in early 1967 and was  based on the southwest side of Da Nang, until it moved to
Camp Books at Red Beach in 1969, following the destruction caused by the explosions from the ASP-1 Ammo Dump, just across the
highway from the Maintenance Battalion perimeter. In addition to our primary jobs, our responsibility was the security of the southwest
perimeter of the Da Nang Air Base, which at the time was the busiest airport in the world. When the VC weren't actually shooting rockets
at us, we caught plenty of rounds that were meant. for the air base but fell short.
I can't remember the names of all the guys in the pictures; if anybody can fill in the blanks, please do.

Pictures by Ronnie D. Foster
{click on picture for large view}

M60 machine gun bunker at the main gate, overlooking Hwy 1

Rear gate

My street


Looking east from my hooch

west from my hooch


A clean hooch is a happy hooch.

That's me and my area

Two very important things, gas mask and mess kit

My mom sent me the tree, Christmas 1968

My hooch's bunker under construction, framed with cross ties and covered with sandbags.

Looking from the motor pool to the hooch area

Along the western perimeter ... Those sandbags didn't come pre-filled either. ...the little building is the head, in the distance is the shower building. Looking south down the perimeter wire along Hwy 1 The infamous village of Dog Patch, across the road from us

Dog Patch at night


In a big hurry

Tank repair area

"The Crab" a 4-wheel steering vehicle built by some of the mechanics in 1st FSR

Sometimes we got to be entertained

On this night, a band from Australia

Didn't see too many "round-eye" women in that part of the World.

Me, enjoying the show.

Cleveland, RDF, Miller


Steve Miller from Seattle

A break from C-Rats and the chow hall

A little creative fun

"Long John" Silvers from LA

Tom Cleveland from Jackson, Miss

RDF & Cleveland

Randy Outlaw

Outlaw was from Georgia

Jack Underwood from Ohio ...

... Underwood continuing his education

Bruce Distel, from Ohio

Gary Collier from Lawton, OK

Back from the chow hall

front row: Joe "Ski" Losiowski (from Michigan), Frenchy, Williams, Distel, Compton (from Tennessee) top of back row: Calhoun, ?, Jim Crane, Rick Baker (from Michigan)

I think this was Christmas Day, 1968. Hillpot, Williams, ?, Baker, Lopez, Mac, Crane, S/Sgt. Steen


Frenchy Duplantier from Detroit
Tom Hillpot from NYC



The following photos were sent in by John "Doc" Wells, Corpsman for Maintenance Battalion, Nov. '67 - Nov. '68

John "Doc" Wells


Maintainance Battalion Sickbay


Wells, Doc Stoney,
Sgt. from Motor T


Doc Wells at Sickbay


After Rocket Attack


SEA TIGER Newspaper




Proud Finger


Marine Escort to the Ville


Nguyen and Teacher




MED-CAP building




Shot in the Butt


Chapel Under Construction


Nurse Nguyen Thi Tri


Dr. Francis and Chaplin Rushing


Corpsman Randy Christianson


Dr. Francis


Sgt. From Comm Bunker
(in the background Marines from Maint. Bn. in formation)


Doc Stoney at Sickbay


Corpsman George Eversole


Stoney at the MED Bunker

Photobucket Photobucket


Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket    
Maint. Bn. duties included Security of the nearby Villages. Here is Doc Well on one of those Patrols.
"These pictures are of the one time I took a camera on patrol. I was Corpsman for Clutch Platoon, Lightning 3, on this Sweep.
We got a dozen VC that night. Don't remember any names. The W. O. just had to have me take a picture of him with my Grease Gun,
but I never gave him a copy. Maybe he will see this. I about blew my foot off with the damn thing, wish I had it now though."  Doc Wells
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

One of the Highlights of the year, the BOB HOPE CHRISTMAS SHOW.
Doc Wells took the pictures at Freedom Hill (Hill 327) Christmas 1968.

  Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket  
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

While the kids back home were building hot rods and racing in the streets, the kids of Maintenance Battalion, young tactical-vehicle mechanics, were doing the same thing. However these Hot Rods were built from the ground up with whatever materials could be begged, borrowed or stolen. The race became known as the "Da Nang 500."    

  Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket  


Photobucket Photobucket
I came across your web site and a flood of memories came to me. I was stationed with Engineer Platoon, Maintenance Company 1st FSR during the time you took the pics. I was at the Da Nang 500, I don't recall our drivers name but I painted dice on his helmet. I did quite a bit of art work there. When I saw the picture of the chapel I remember the chaplain had his wife sent him brushes and oil paints, he had me paint a picture which he hung inside the chapel above the door. I think I may still have a Polaroid of it. It was a picture similar to your book cover, a marine holding a rifle and kneeling down in prayer, the sun was setting. I often wonder what happened to that picture. I hope the chaplain took it home when he rotated, I would hate to think it was destroyed when Vietnam fell to the communists. One Christmas I also painted a giant bulldozer with Santa Claus driving it and a bag of gifts in the back. It was painted on the side of the Engineer Maintenance Building. I remember Dog Patch, the front gate. I stood guard up in there one month. The hooches, parade deck and sand bags brought back members . I arrived in country on 26 July 1966 and was with FSR until end of May 1968, I rotated up to FLC FLSG Bravo Maintenance company and rotated back to the world on 25 February 1969. my time at Dong Ha Combat base was not good, we were hit quit a bit with Artillery from the DMZ and North Vietnam. Some really bad experiences. Your web site cheered me up. I am glad life has been good to you, looks like you have performed with a lot of great entertainers.

Semper Fi

CPL (with held by request)
Engineer Maintenance Co
1st FSR 67 68
FLC FLSG Bravo 68 69

John "Doc" Wells, US Navy Corpsman, Louisville, Kentucky
Hey, Ronnie, loved your site. I was the Corpsman for this battalion from November '67 - Nov '68. I have plenty of memories of my year there and quite a few pictures. I have never known what happened to the battalion until I retired the past few months and came across your site. I have pics of the Battalion, a dozen or so of the Da Nang 500 and some of my MED CAP building out in Dog Patch. My biggest question to you is what happened to the Battalion Aid Station. I saw the picture of the Chapel. Chaplin Rushing put it up and I know we were across the street from that in front of the Comm Shack.

This video shows scenes in Dog Patch, Freedom Hill and also from the "Da Nang 500" at the Maintenance Bn. Compound.
This was from 1967, notice the M14s.


This video was filmed at Freedom Hill - Bob Hope Christmas Show-
The title says Christmas '68, however, Neil Armstrong is featured as the
"First Man to Set Foot on the Moon" So it must be Christmas '69.


This is what a Rocket Attack sounds like:


Slide Show of FLC. Looks to be mostly at Camp Books, Red Beach 

Bruce Distel - 12 May, 2010
About a year or so ago a friend I was in Vietnam with called me, we called him Ski. His name was Joe Losiowski, his name was too long to say. We have been in touch since then, he sent me some pictures of some Marines having Christmas dinner --cooking out --and two Marines having breakfast in the back of a truck. I'm the Marine having breakfast with you. Bruce Distel, Portsmouth Ohio. The web site is really great . The picture of you sitting next to the tire --I'm sure I took that picture, I have one with me standing next to same tire.......Alive and well....Semper Fi  ..Bruce

Richard G. Williams, Cpl. USMC 65-68
Good Morning Mr. Foster,
Just found your website, OUTSTANDING !! The amount of work involved boggles the mind..
I served with H&S Co. 1st. FSR/FLC from 08/67 to 07/68. My second tour, then rotated back to " the world " for discharge.
I drove a 543A2 wrecker named "Uptight "( later renamed " Uptight Jr. ") It was hard not to notice, it was painted staff car green/grey, and had Uptight painted on the boom.
The other wrecker was called " Can Cau ", Vietnamese for " Big Hook " My "A" driver was L/Cpl. Tom ( the animal ) Rentmeester from Green Bay. His favorite saying was "Are we cool or what ?".
Also I noticed you started playing guitar in the early 60's. so did I. In fact I had brought along a Harmony arch-top from home, ( it's 2nd. tour in country also) I got that guitar when I was 14, and right now it hangs in my den along with others I've collected over the years.
Do you remember a guy named Ernie from somewhere down south ? He played guitar and harmonica and could cheer-up the hardest nights with his " Rock of Ages Rock."
In fact he could play a bunch of Hymns with a 1950's rock-a-billy sound.
Well I want to get this off to you. If you find time, give me shout..I'm sure we must have crossed paths at some point.
Take care...
Richard G. Williams, Cpl. USMC 65-68.................I was called " Will "

Dear Mr. Foster,
     I would like to thank you for the photographs regarding our old Maintenance Battalion.  It was tastefully done and  can't wait until I can get home and show my wife.  Your display brought back lots of memories.  The photographs which I took with my little PX purchased Polaroid camera have long gone the way of the world. 
My tour with Maintenance Battalion began in July '67 and ended in August '68 of which logic would deduce that we probably shared the same 12 holer on occasions.  I was actually in H&S Company, organic Motor Transport Platoon and was universally hated as the Bn Commander's driver (Lt Col. Hermes and later Lt Col. Savage) until departing for OCONUS.  It is hard to find members of our old Battalion and was shocked when I recently found out about the fragging incident in which CPL Pate was killed at t he enlisted club. 
Although I originally joined the crotch from Georgia, I now live in Utah.  I am a retired Wyoming Law Enforcement Officer (2003), have retired from the Army National Guard (1995) and took a ten year retirement from Dugway Proving Ground, Department of Defense 2008.  Hopefully there will be some social security left when I reach the magic age of 62 next year.  You are probably getting close.  Sorry for boring you with the mundane details of my bio. 
Again, thanks for the excellent photo gallery.  I am happy that the years have been good to you as they have to me.
Your friend and co-resident at Dog Patch,
Ralph Pierce, USMC '66-'71/'72-'74                       

For more photos and information about FLC in Vietnam go to the website of Mike Fishbaugh, USMC.