From:  Dennis Woytek

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

Some of my images from Det 5 after the move to Camp Red Devil in Quang Tri.

    From:  Tim Lennox

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

Great Photos! Thank you for sharing them!!!! 
Tim Lennox


   Quang Tri Trailer

    From:  Rick Fredericksen

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

John, it is wonderful that you and Harry have been more willing to share your tragic stories in the last couple of years. I imagine it is difficult to talk about, but with all of us advancing through time, your story is important for the sake of your units, the war and broadcasting. There is also a chance the riveting story might get notice from some movie maker. Wouldn't that be a terrific way to memorialize your brothers who were lost at Det. 5. 
Rick Fredericksen

    From:  Ken Gilder

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

I was stunned and saddened to hear of the events at Hue.  At the time, I was a little further down the coast, at Det. #1, Qui-Nhon. 
I had arrived in early August, 1967.  I was an "extra body" around Network HQ for three months before I got tapped to go to Det. #1 in November.  We rode out Tet on top of Vung Chua Mountain.  No shots were fired by, or at us, but the radio station at the bottom of the mountain, did get one of its two towers blown. 
I went on until the end of my tour.  Gunny Thornton, our NCOIC, said he'd try to get me E-6 if I extended six months, but I'd had enough of Vietnam, and declined the offer.  As I was out-processing, the SGM saw me, and told me I might be the luckiest SOB in the network.  He said that when I went to Qui-Nhon, I might also have gone to Hue, as both were not to to full strength.  I guess the colonel thought Qui-Nhon's need was greater than Hue's, and a day later, I was headed up there. 
I knew John Anderson personally.  He was a SSG, and my NCOIC at AFKN Radio Gypsy, at Camp Kaiser, several years earlier, back when I was a PFC.  He was a good man and a good boss.  I was sorry to hear of his death. 
Ken

    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

Hi John Welcome home and thanks for your account below. I am going to take the liberty of also posting this to the AFVN Facebook page. that which is there does not always duplicate what is here. Best wishes

Bob M


   Det 5 Generator Shed

    From:  John Bagwell

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:  Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

I was talking to Harry Ettmuller last night on the anniversary of Detachment 5 being taken by the North Vietnamese.  Harry and I are the only ones left from the nine that were there in 1968. 
By this morning (on the 6th of February) Harry and four others were on their way as POWs to North Vietnam.  There were six that were captured.  Steve Stroub was pulled out of the line and shot, perhaps to prove a point to the others that they should not  try to escape. Harry thinks it was because they saw the First Air Cavalry patch on Steve. Both Steve and I had been with the Cav and were transferred up to Hue. 
I had escaped and was working my way back to friendly territory by the morning of the 6th. I spent the night of the 5th in a Catholic Church nearby and I was still behind enemy lines.  It would be the next day, before I could get to an American signal group and eventually get medical help when I was shot in the foot. 
I found out at that time that the others were dead or captured.  I was surprised that they had taken prisoner.  When I was leaving the house I was sure they were going to kill us all.  Becoming a prisoner was the last thing I thought would happen.  Harry told me last night that he also thought they were all going to be shot. 
Once I got back to safety I had another 45 days in country before they sent me home.   When I was checking out at the airfield near Saigon, I met an Air Force Photographer that was assigned to a group of Marines that actually came to rescue us.  Turns out they arrive a couple of hours after everyone was killed or captured. If we had held out another hour or so, we may have been rescued. They arrive about noon on the 5th.  Harry said they were captured at about 10:50 that morning. Cortney Niles and I escaped a few minutes prior to that.  Cortney was fatally shot a few minutes later.    As badly as everyone was wounded and the house was in such a condition from rocket attacks it was doubtful we could had made it another hour. 
One of the pictures attached to the previous tread was of the house we were staying at.  All that damage was done with us inside.  The second picture were taken by the Air Force Photographer and sent to me after we made connection there in Saigon. I am not sure where the first picture (with the Vietnamese walking in front of the house) came from. 
The last picture shows me (on the left) and Harry at the ceremony in Washington several years ago to honor Detachment 5. 
By the time I got back to Camp Evans I had been shot at,  or should have been killed, at least a dozen time.  Six of those by the Vietnamese and six by Americans who thought I was the enemy.  I saw an article later that a Catholic Priest that hid an American in a church was executed by the North Vietnamese.  It probably was the Priest that hid me. 
Harry and the other four were released in the big POW swap in 1973. 
Hard to believe 52 years have gone by.  Hope Harry and I are here to remember 53 years


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

John and Harry: 
The two of you have my deepest respect.  It’s easier to go through twelve months of firefights than one day of the kind of acid you two were dipped into. 
Ken


    From:  Bob Morecook

     Date:  February 5, 2020

Subject:  Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

Hi All

Today is a day to remember and honor the fellows who lost their lives or who were captured at Det 5 Hue on 5 Feb 68.  That's fifty-two years ago -- today Wednesday, February 5, 2020.  

Best wishes

Bob M


    From:  Tony Webster

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:  Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

I was assigned to Det. #5 Quang Tri in 1970. I left 'Nam in November of that year. I still remember seeing the return of the AFVN POW's in 1973 on TV. I just sat there watching, feeling some sort of kinship to these men and crying. The transmitter trailer we had in Quang Tri had bullet holes in it and we were told it had come from Hue. Whenever something reminds me of my time there and those men, I think to myself, "there but by the grace of God go I".

    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated:  February 6, 2020

Subject:   Remembering AFVN Det 5 Today - 50th Anniversary

I powerful memory of mine is reporting the return of the POW s on AFVN TV in Saigon in 1973 Welcome home Guys

Bob

​​

   Det 5 Van at Quang Tri.  Perhaps while still being set in place.

   Det 5 Quang Tri Completed


​Prisoners of War Leaving the Hanoi Hilton

Remembering AFVN Detachment 5, Hue

February 2020

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