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Subject: 56th Signal Co. (DS) and 85th Lt. Maintenance Co. (DS)

Doug Crawford
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Date Posted: 19:46:29 12/05/06 Tue

I was so pleased to find the 5th Battalion website and to read messages from fellow Vietnam Vets who served in the Qui Nhon Sub-area Command and the Danang Sub-area command 1966-1967, especially my good friend Bill Bellinger. I had not heard from Bill since the day I left Vietnam in April, 1967. I first served as a Logistics Officer for the 56th Signal Co. in Binh Dinh Province west of Qui Nhon (Phu Tai Valley) Then, I became the first CO for a new company formed "from scratch" in-country, the 85th Lt.Maint. Co. Ultimately we moved to Danang and became responsible for maintaining (including replacing worn-out tubes) the 175mm guns by Dong Ha in Quang Tri Province. By that time Captain Elmo Young had arrived to become CO and I became the Executive Officer for the 85th.

During the past few years I have served as a consultant to help develop community colleges in Vietnam, including Quang Ngai Community College. I am fulfilling a dream I developed while serving in Vietnam during the war. During my consulting tour of Vietnam in 2004 I got assistance from local Vietnamese to take me to all three locations where I was primarily stationed west of Qui Nhon. Two of them are now Vietnamese Army bases and one is the site for a new factory. I was also driven up highway 19 to An Khe along the same route that I had ridden with a convoy in 1966 to the 1st Air Cav. compound. A Vietnamese man who used to work for the Americans, a Vietnamese ex-pat from Norway, my son, and I walked into the compound (although it was off-limits) by the old airstrip right by Vietnamese soldiers, who dress like the NVA did during the war. It was a bazaar experience, to say the least.

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