Odie,1st time on this site..Great pics.'Brought back a lot of memories.I flew out of Da Nang 70'&71' on Connies,Navy VW-1.I also have a lot of photos & slides I should put on line one of these days.Also worked on UH-1E'S in NAS Alameda.Thanks to another Nam Vet.
Joe: Great pics! Saw your bisley with oversize grips on glock talk and was hoping to find out if you made or where you obtained. They look exactly what I'm trying to fabricate.
Kimi: I was looking up a review on Glock Talk and saw your signature on a review of a gun I was gifted. I saw that you were an artist (and an Christian) and had to look at your work. All I can say is WOW!!!! It is some of the nicest I have seen. Lovely work and you have a wonderful eye for the right grain of the wood to show the beauty of the piece.
I am a pottery artist who has not been able to practice my art for a few years due to health reasons, but I am inspired by your work to get back to my craft. God bless and thank you!
Paul Duggan: Saw you website and pics . I was in the 135th AHC 6-6-68 to6-5-68,Call sign was EMU24. WO Paul Duggan
robert: Hi taipan,
I am amazed at your site. Make me want to go out and do a little organizing tonight. Your bowls are wonderful. I am truly inspired to see them all.
Blake: I saw your post on the glocktalk forum and clicked the photo link. Man you have had a honorable life. I commend you, and salute you my friend! God Bless
taipan22alpha: Good to hear from you, JohnJohn.
You know you are welcome to "capture" any photos on my site that you would like.......even the "hanging"! Ha! Actually, that's always been one of my favorite photos from Vietnam!
I will make it a point to visit the RAN helicopter flight Vietnam site that you mentioned, but I believe I've already visited that site, but it's been awhile, though....
I also went down once, and right down to the "big splash", it was similar to your experiences! Probably not unlike many of us who were shot down.
Thanks for the very nice write up in my photo album......and, I wish you the best in this stage of your life! We are all getting older now!
Like you, I will always be proud of my service, and I've always felt we did the right thing to defend So. VN in their efforts to remain soverign. We cannot change history, but we can always stand proud of what we did, and our beliefs that we did the right thing for the right reasons!
I'm adding this email response to the guest book.
Your Friend from long ago, taipan22alpha
johnjohn63: Thank you for posting so many great photos! Sorry for my part in trying to "hang" you! You might check out a web site hosted by the Australian boys RAN HELICOPTER FLIGHT VIETNAM They have detailed documentations of noteworthy EMU combat missions. I was gunner when we were ambushed on the May 18th mission landing Arvn troops near Tan An. We took 22 rounds and "splash" landed in a rice field near the LZ. That was the first (and last) time I experienced running across the top of knee deep water to the rescue chopper! No one on our bird was seriously injured..a miracle! So many memories from so long ago that often seem as clear as yesterday! I am sure proud of my time serving with the EMU's.
hughie: Hi Odie.
Just spent an enjoyable time perusing your pics and site, nice one! A lot of similarities with my last shop, even down to your drying bowl shapes, except for the snow shoes :-) Bit warmish down under even in the winter.
MotorM: Nice pictures. I only have part of what you got.
I got an FXD, I love (HOG member). Learned to ride 2 years ago. Go shooting, got a Beretta Bobcat (you had a quote some years ago).
I want a machine shop at home. That is my next project.
I am impressed.
Floria & Myles Ito: Aloha Kelly, my husband & I finally got time to look at a good portion of your website, but haven't looked through all of it yet. We were both impressed by your wooden bowls especially Myles, because he also carves wood in Koa mostly, but other wood also. He was really impressed by your craftsmanship, tools, and woodshop. His father served in the Mekong Delta in 1962 and did a 2nd tour in Vietnam in 1967, but I am not sure which part. I remember telling you that he was the one who would carve out the mines hidden in the ground. God Bless you & iy was God who kept yoo safe, especially being a gunner from the helicopter. Myles knew a lady whose son did the same thing as you and after he did only 6 months in Vietnam, he was shot & killed at such an early age. It was very sad. I am glad to have you on my website anytime! Now Myles & I have to find more time to look at the rest of you pics. I was really impressed by your medals. God Bless you & keep you safe. We all appreciate all the men who served in Vietnam and give special recognition to the young men who died there! Be well, Floria & Myles Ito (Hawaii) If you ever need to purchase anymore Hair Gloves or know anyone that does, please give them my websites. Aloha, Floria (800)316-2205.
Asa: Hi There,
I was just checking out this forum to see what was being said about the LASD pulling the S&W MP and saw your pics. Thanks for sharing them, and thank you so much for your service.
Jeff: Thanks for posting the link on GlockTalk! You have some excellent pictures.
I am currently assigned to 1st Aviation Brigade. It's interesting to see pictures of this unit from 40 years ago.
beeper: that looks like my baseball bat on your bed,and that is john-john demuth in the picture with bobby,i also believe pope took my money in the poker picture(i am the guy setting on the left in the poker game)happy memorial day!!!!!!!!!i was just surfing 135th sites here on memorial day in montana and stumbled on your site-nothing better than dumb luck,Beeper(john b.)
Jim Pugh: It's good to run into another Viet-Vet who is also a wood turner. I was with the 362nd sig. corp in NaTrang , part of Mac V several years before you. Thanks to all of the Guys who gave service over there and especialy those who gave their lives.
Bob: Thanks for Nam pictures. I was the Chaplain's Asst. for the 5th BTN 2nd ARTY based near Long Binh from Oct. '68 to Nov. '69. I drove our Chaplain to both Blackhorse and Beacat many times. The pics brought back many memories. The Chaplain, Dave Winscott and I have remained friends and still communicate. He lives in Southern California and I live in Central California, about 350 miles apart, but we still manage to see each other from time to time.
I well remember sitting in an obs tower at our base camp, Duster Compound, when we started taking some rockets that were just barely missing the tower. Suddenly a gunship appeared, covered an area off our perimeter with M-60 rounds and it all was over. We went on a recon in the area the next morning and found beaucoup unfired rockets and somebody's foot. You guys saved my life, I'm sure.
Birdie: Remembering all those who served on this celebrated Veteran's Day.....Thank you and God Bless.
xeojx: Hello there Sir! I just checked out your pictures of your days in the Nam. I loved them. My dad was a medic with a ranger unit over there, but he has never talked about it nor have I ever seen any pictures of him there. Im sure it was one of the hardest things you had to do. So thank you for doing what you did over there and have a wonderful day.
Capt. Eddie Castelin: Brought back memories of 70-71 in the USAF. I spent every other 30 days in forward camp putting together 2.75" rockets. I loved to fly when I could. Thanks.
Jake: As others, I see, I'm thankful for and proud of your service to our comrades, your professionalism and honor. This album and these photos only give just a small glimpse of the incredible stories that you have shared in reflective and humble moments over the 30 some-odd years since our time in Viet Nam. Having you as a friend is every bit the treasure as is having you as my brother..
Todd Strader: I met you at the shooting range over the weekend and had to see your site. The picutes were unbelievable. I liked the one with you hanging out the door holding the m-60, pretty cool stuff. Anyway thanks for sharing the pics with me and it was great to talk to you. Todd Strader
Mike W.: Very nice photo collection. I flew a bunch in UH1's post Vietnam in Germany. Seeing your photos brought back some nice memories. I remember flying in one that had bullet holes patched beneath the seats. Thanks for your service to our country.
M.Ridgway/Peace Officer: God bless you for serving our country,all Vietnam Veterans are true HERO! Your recognition is long over-due.
Dale: I also thank you for your service. I hope your days there are not haunting you.
Rob: Excellent photos and stories. Very educational. Thank you for your distinguished service in Vietnam.
Carl S.: Nice pics! Thanks for your service in Vietnam!
Brian: HS, Enjoyed your photo albums. Thank you for serving in the VN war! Your bowls and trays look great! Good taste in Hot Rods too. I can only dream of having such a work shop -- perhaps one day! Brian
Walt: Graeat pics....Have read many books on helicopter warfare in Vietnam. I was in usAf in Eupope in the fifties....Best of luck, Walt
Brian: Hi, my name is Brian. I live in Alpine CA (20 minutes east of san diego), I am a full time Firefighter/Paramedic out here in the peoples republic of CA. I looked through your Vietnam pictures and just wanted to say thank you for what you did. Guys like you are the real deal. When i think hard about it i honestly dont know if I have what it takes to do the stuff you and all your great american friends did. My family lost someone in vietnam, (we have his name stenciled like your friends as well). So thanks for what you did, I hope you can understand how sincere I mean that to you.
barbara strecker: I read your entry about the wooden bowls on__________ and just wanted to say they are beautiful. The different woods are amazing! You have a gift.
Vaughn: I'm an occasional visitor to this site, and tonight I happened to come across a post by you and saw your note about your Viet Nam photo album. I'm not a Vet (born a little too late for Viet Nam...graduated High School in '76), but I really enjoyed looking through your photos. It amazes me what you guys went through over there.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for sharing the pictures, and a sincere thank you for your service.
Salvo: Great picture gallery! I really appreciate you sharing those pictures and thank you for your service!
I graduated high school in 77, grew up during the war, but it was over by the time I got out of HS. I know a few family and friends that went and they dont talk about it much. Thanks for sharing.
Steve & Cyndi: WOW! Pictures ARE worth 1000 words. Looks like a part of your history you don't need to repeat.
Ed: Thank you sir,and thank you to the Men and Women who gave thier lives in one way or another for the USA.
Mick: Mick: Just visiting this sight that you mentioned in GT. Thank You for serving our country. -Kittydaddy
Blooptube: I am just turning 57 this year.
Your pics stirred up a lot of memories.
Thanks a lot.
Phil: I really appreciated your Viet Nam pictures. I don't know how you survived that, but we're all glad you did. I showed some of them to my ten year old son and he really enjoyed them. Thanks
rcn: Saw your post and pix. I was in the the 9th Infantry's Mobile Riverene Force 11/68 to 11/69. Good chance your gunships bailed us out more than once. Thanks...
Justin: thank you for sharing your photos. for those of us who were born after Vietnam had ended, it's hard to imagine what that country was really like. Thank you for your service.
MSgtJoe: Great site and pictures. Thank you for your service.
Troy: Great pics, and thanks for your service!
Mrs. M: I just visited your website and wanted to say thanks for posting it but more important, thanks for serving. You're so fortunate to have so many pictures and I LOVE the bra! Most of my husband's pictures from Nam are gone and he treasures the few he has left. He was in Da Nang from April, 67-May, 68. He got a big surprise while at the VA Hospital a couple of weeks ago while talking to another patient. It turns out they were both radiomen and had actually talked to each other quite a bit while in Vietnam! For his 50th birthday, I found the man who was his best friend by writing letters and emails. They've been in contact for almost eight years now. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your photos and for serving our country. You're one of the heroes in my book.
Pat Marlin: I was only about 9 when those shots were taken, but I traveled to Viet Nam and Cambodia on a business venture in 1997, and got to see that country, intimately- in the cities, mountains, and jungles, and was amazed by the lifestyle of these people, and gained a great respect for them.
sweetbutsassy: I just finished viewing your pictures. Thank you for sharing your experience with me/us. I was just a baby when those pics were snapped. I want to thank you and others like you who have fought for our freedom. Unfortunately, freedom is not free. One of the things I like about where I work is that I get the oportunity to talk with veterans about their experiences--the good, bad, and ugly. Vietnam vets are probably the ones I come into most contact with. Ok, I take that back: Vietnam vets are usually the ones that converse most regularly with me, although we have lots of aged vets and the insurgence of young-new-to-the-system vets. I enjoy hearing the stories veterans tell. Many are sad or angry stories. But, like your pictures, alot of them are filled with fond memories of good friends: those who made it and those who didn't.
Dan: Stumbled on your album from a link on another site. I can't even begin to imagine what that experience was like. You guys were as tough as they come. This country is lucky to have you. Thanks!
joed: saw your msg on bb.com & came over. I was USN from 65-67, right before you. Your pics bring back memories. Thanks. Joe.
Patrick: I checked out your Vietnam pics.This country is lucky to have had,and to now have young men willing to put themselves in harms way to defend the free world.Thank you for all that you did,and I'm glad you made it back in one piece!By the the way,all three of the Kahrs I've had have been 100% reliable as well.Patrick.
Teresa L. Britton: Thank you for taking the time to show us the photos. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran I appreciate your service.
Randy: enjoyed your pictures, welcome home bro- semper fi--Randy
Kent Allen: Thanks for sharing your adventure in Vietnam. I was there in 1969 as an aircraft mechanic in an OV-1 Mohawk unit. A lot of memories came flooding back looking at your photos.
Mr. Joe: Thanks for sharing your pictures with us, and thank you even more for serving our Country.
Doc: Adv Team 88, Mat 136, Mekong Delta, Where are you Ranger Clark?
ken plummer: I would like to thank you for flying the friendly skies of Viet Nam for I may have ridden with you at one time or another, Thanks for covering my six.
Moose: I linked over from the MT website; thanks for posting these photos of Vietnam. And thanks, too, for your hard work & sacrifice over there.
Huntinbull aka John Michaels: I know that most vets have mixed feelings about the effort they put in and the "thanks" they recieved. As for me, Thank You, I am just One small part of a grateful Nation. I enjoyed the pictures. If you are ever in Ohio, drop me an Email and you have a couch to land on if ya need it.
Larry: Fantastic pics... Thank you for doing a thankless job.....Larry
pete: excellent pics.gave me some goosebumps.I am a ol acft armt guy.thanks.
u.k. neil: Anyone who has been in combat has my deepest and most sincere regard, and you Sir, have mine. Unless you have experienced it first hand then you cannot explain to anyone the sights, sounds and emotions of incoming small-arms fire, rockets and bombs.
Kenny (Leverdude): Thank you Taipan for sharing these with us.
John O'Neil: Tiapan, My name is John O'Neil, and I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your Viet Nam scrap book. The pictures are great, especially the one of the river at sunset. I can see why it won you a phone call home. I never was in the service, although I carried a 1A draft card between 1968 and 1971. I couldn't enlist because of family hardships at home, and never got drafted. My Dad had his own business, but went blind from diabetes and couldn't work. He was a locksmith. I went to work full time when I was sixteen to take care of him, Mom, an older sister, and a younger brother. I too lost a few friends in Viet Nam, and will never forget their sacrifice, and the sacrafices of thousands of other men over there. I live just outside Washington, DC, and drive past the Wall at least ten times a week. There is never a time I don't get misty thinking about Mark's and Mike's names being on that wall. Mike and I were best buddies from the first grade thru high school. He lied about his age so he could be a Marine. That is all he ever talked about in school. He died his first day in Viet Nam. A VC sniper got him while getting off the transport plane in DaNang. He never knew what hit him. I always felt a little guilty about not being there to watch his back. Mark was in the Navy, and died 21 days befor he was to ship out for Japan, then home. It was his little sister's 12th. birthday. For what you did, and the time your family had to do without you, I just want to say thank you. This country owes you a debt of gratitude it can never repay. John
Range Finder: Taipan: I appreciated greatly your photos. It's amazing how young you - we were. Never forget our "Brothers in Flight" or the wall where some are remembered. I was a crew chief on KC135. Stationed in Utapoa, Thailand, Ubon, Udorn, and NKP. Reflexed out of Danang and Oki. Saw you chopper guys often and never could get over the things you did. We usually orbited while the F4's and "Thuds" did their thing. On some of those operations saw you guys fly into firestorm and back again. I to remember the .51's and especially remember the 54's. Compared to you guys and most we had it made - really. But sometimes not and I left some good buddys behind. 1968 ARC LITE support YOUNG TIGERS. Amazing how after all that time you still don't forget our bird's tail number: 623516. 123 CMs. We were young once...and soared with eagles. Range Finder 416th Bomb Wing(H) 41st Air refueling Squadron USAF
Gary Olson: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving. We need more people like you to keep us free. God Bless!
MIKE CARNEY: I LOST MY BEST FRIEND IN NAM, CREW CHIEF AND DOOR GUNNER, HE WAS JOHN SHARP, EVER RUN INTO HIM?....MY SON IS A DOING IT NOW IN KOREA, I HOPE FOR THE BEST
Sturgis: enjoyed looking at your pictures
Ken: Nice photos. I'd like to know how you put them on the web like this?
I was a pilot with the 57th AHC in Kontum 68-69.
Thanks for your service.
Jon Jay: Great photos and thanks for making them available.
240th "Maddogs" 11/68-10/69.
Ted Duncan: Growing up, one of my best friends, a guy named Dave Ashford, enlisted and went to the Nam in 1970. He was a helio door gunner. At some point in his tour his chopper was shot down, he was wounded and incured some type of head injury when the bird crashed. I am told that he was captured but managed to get away quickly and was found by the good guys.
There was a gang of us that used to hang out together. We were pretty tight.
Dave never answered any of our letters when he went to Nam, although many of the old crew tried to get in touch after he came back...he pretty much blew us all off. I hear that he got a good job with Jercy Cenral Power and Light, got married and had some kids so he seems to be doing well.
But we never really got DAVE back from Viet Nam.
GCKarcher: Great pics Odie. I will never forget my "Guys in the back" for covering all my breaks and protecting all our butts on the mission.
Herman Kutz: Thanks for sharing with us at CSP. I really think allot of the people on CSP. For what they, know, for what they have done, and for what they are willing to teach.
Everyday I seem to learn more about Vietnam (the political mess it was) I can only thank God I have never been to war, and thank him for the people who have been, on behalf of the United States.
Joe "Hagar" Ruzich: Odie,
Great job! You put a lot of work into this and I really appreciate your sharing it. I took no photos during my tour so yours really brought back the memories. Many thanks for protecting us on the ground, hauling in our ammo and water under fire and protecting the "dust off" birds while they took our wounded and KIA out! I'm really happy that you survived with a very dangerous MOS and came home. I salute you, your bravery and your service!
Tommy Johnson: Sir, Thanks for taking the time to share some of your life. My, my family's and friends' easy lives in the USA are because of folks like you!
Thanks for your service.
Tommy Johnson (USN, TMT2, 1987-1995)
Jeff Neal: Thanks for sharing with us
Nubber: Looking at your pictrues sure brought back some memories. I was a crew chief on an F4 Phantom in the Air Force. (69-70) Ubon Thialand 433TFS Satan's Angles.
Dave in Alaska: Thanks for the views from your past. I'm glad you made it, and a big "Thank You!", for the job you did. Also, you are correct, GI "hooch & hi-junks" photo shots do all have that certain "flavor", don't they? Damn.........where we really ever that young?
Groucho: COLUUUMMNNNNNN.........LEEEFT FACE........
HAND SALUTE PRREEEEESEEEEENT ARRRRMMMS.
OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY ON YOUR LOSSES. PLEASE
ACCEPT OUR GREATEST RESPECT FOR YOUR SERVICE.
THANK YOU, CHIEF.
tom from N.Ga: Really enjoyed the pics. Appreciate your effort making these aviable to us. Above all, appreciate your service to the country. Glad that God saw fit to see that you survived. May God bless you in the years to come. tom