Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam - October 1968 to October 1969

Page Last Updated : Saturday  July 23, 2011


 A Little History about Tan Son Nhut Airbase

Tan Son Nhut Airport was built by the French in the Village of Tan Son Nhut
in the 1920s. During WWII the Japanese used it as a Transport base. In 1955,
the officially established VNAF made it home. In 1956, the US began some
training of VNAF forces here. By the mid-1960s Tan Son Nhut was reported
as the busiest airport in the world!

"TET 1968"

Tan Son Nhut Air Base was a major target during the 1968 Lunar "TET" offensive.
This was a major National Holiday and most of the ARVN/VNAF forces were on
leave throughout the country with their families celebrating the holiday.

When the first enemy rounds hit Tan Son Nhut Air Base at approximately 02:00
 on January 30th,
It was up to the 377th Security Police Squadron in the early
 hours of the attack, to halt the enemy advance
. The Security Police, despite being
 outnumbered, with help from the
United States Army
Helicopter and ground units,
 killed nearly 1000 enemy combatants.

Four USAF Security Police lost their lives at the 051 Bunker, during the Enemy attack.

 The base was secured by American and ARVN/VNAF forces by 12 Noon the next day.

For years after TET 1968, Tan Son Nhat Air Base came under attack many times
from attempted enemy penetration, gunfire, and rockets.

It was up the 377th Security Police Squadron to defend the base from the enemy,
 till the day the US turned its defense over to South Vietnam.




The 377SPS Service Appreciation Plaque

The USAF VSPA Book Published by Turner Publishing in 2010



" The 1300 Compound "

Our 377th Security Police Sq Area At Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon, S Vietnam




My USAF Air Police  - 10-Series Radio Codes for Vietnam


Looking in at Tan Son Nhut AB through the Main Gate - 1968


Looking out of the Tan Son Nhut AB Main Gate from
Inside a Duce and half- 1968


The Rush Home from The Base in the Evening


Tan Son Nhut AB - 377 SPS Posts - 1969
Click the Picture for Greater Detail, When New file opens,
Then Double Click in that window to Enlarge !


Map Section centered on 1300 Compound with BX to West, SP Motorpool
to the East, Army Heliport to North and MARS Station to our South.


My Squadron Uniform Patches

Alpha Sector "C" Flight - Night Hawks


 In the Beginning, Working Alpha Bunker 8 with my Buddy, James Lockley,
Before I was assigned to Alpha Bunker 9, about 100 yds to East of B-8


Jim Lockley on a Sat Patrol 




 Alpha Bunker 9 - My Home at Night for most of the first 7 months !
Manned at night with 2-3 USAF SP's and 5 Vietnamese Soldiers.
This was a old WWII French Bunker with living quarters below, accessible
via a metal trap door from the Machine Gun nest, in the Center top and
a door out the back at lower road level !  I worked 3 months at night before
finally seeing the area during the day. What a big difference!

Then I saw what A mess it was !

I got a Duce 1/2 from SP Motor pool and Rounded up some Building
Materials and had the Vietnamese soldiers help rebuild and clean up the bunker.

 What a mess the bunker was when I took charge !


Had my little sniper station set up on the roof to return fire!



A Buddhist Temple was directly across the Mine Field from Alpha Bunker 9

Many a night VC snipers fired from behind the walls at us...no lights or
lighting of cigarettes, where they might see you or you could lose your head !


Vietnamese Cemetery North of Alpha Bunker 8



 A Couple of my Bunker Mates        and Me in the Flak Jacket and Hat


That's Me Relaxing just for the picture,  M16 on lap.  My M60 under Poncho
to my right. Quiet night, no snipers, so we were able to snap a few pictures.


On an Alpha Sector Road Patrol, Our M60 under Cover
Jeep ran Okay, Seats falling apart. NO Seat Belts !


The Army Hawk Missile Site Behind my Alpha Bunker 9 !



Required Reading and Use of !


Three of Many South Vietnamese Soldiers that lived on Bunker 9


Van and one of his Daughters           Thuy - last heard he went to Ta Ninh


Forgot his name ... He was of Cambodian origin.


The Catholic Church with the Bell Tower, North a of Alpha Bunker 10,
used by VC Snipers During TET 68, to Direct gunfire on TSN.


Jim and I Taking a V100 out to the Base Range for Moving M60
Firing Practice.


 That's Me Getting in some Automatic Fire Practice with the old M-16



Some Big Red 1 Army Boys on R&R from the field, Camped inside
the TSNAB West perimeter Near Tango 6


A couple of Units Going Off Base on Patrol through the O-51 Gate


Some Big Red 1 Army Boys Fixing a Broken Track


M60A1 Army Tank with Xeron Light


Some Pictures of the French Fort Area near the O-55 Gate



The TSN Plane Graveyard





 Tango 12 - Rocket Observation in Alpha Sector inside Ammo Dump
One of Three Tower Posts on Base
This was My Post for the last 5 months of my Tour!


That's Me in Tango 12, 60 feet above the Base.


Back at my Barracks and The Rocket Bunker


Feburary 1966 - USAF Air Police under Fire


March 1969 - USAF Super Jolly Green Pilot Rescue Mission


Feburary 1969 - Army Magazine - Pointman On Patrol



Thanksgiving Day 1968


MY Home Sweet Home in the Daytime During Christmas 1968

Alpha Sector Christmas Party - 1968

Alpha Sector Christmas Party - 1968


Jim going off to Duty and Our Barracks Momma'sans


Some of Our Heavy Guns and Equipment- A Quad 50 Cal unit



1 of about Many V100 Vehicles Our Squadron had


South Perimeter Fence Line behind the 1300 compound
We had several Hundred yards clear to the fence,
But that did'nt stop Charlie from taking pot shots at us !


The Base BX, Post Office, Movie Theater, and Bank of America
Just outside our 1300 Compound West gate.


The Heliport was directly Across the street to the North
Tango 2 - Rocket Tower can be seen to right of center


3rd Rocket Observation Tower on Ramp Area can be seen right of center


Bringing Home a downed Chopper !


Not much Sleep in the Barracks during the day as the
Helicopters took off over our Barracks, blowing dust in.


Chopper down in back yard, Lost tail rotor, not pretty !


Aircraft on the Ramp at Tan Son Nhut


F-100 Fighters Deployed to Tuy Hoa AB from Homestead AFB 1966




Tan Son Nhut Lit up by Drop Flares During an Perimeter Attack



AC-119 Shadow Gunships



Cone of Fire from a AC-119


AC-47 Spooky Gunships



Pictures around the Base 1969


Pictures around the Base Perimeter Alpha Sector - 1969


New Heavy Duty Bunker at TSN Main Gate - Mid 1969



Other New Heavy Duty Bunkers in Echo Sector - Mid 1969


Pictures around the Base 1969


Downtown Saigon - USO and more


The Bar Strip about a mile from Main Gate
The "Westerner Bar" was favorite hang out for many


Colorful Cyclos


Imperial City in Hue


Central Vietnam


Army Helicopters over South Vietnam


Buddha And Altar in Xi Loi Pagoda in Saigon


A Vegetable Market in Saigon


A Gal in a Traditional "Ao Dai" in a Flower Market


Then I met this Young Gal at a Saigon Restaurant !

And  I  Married her !  and That is quite another Story!

We have 3 Sons, 1 Daughter and 4 Grandsons

The Military Payment Certificate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Military Payment Certificates, or MPC, were used from the end of World War II until the end of the Vietnam War, between the years 1946 and 1973. MPC's utilized layers of line lithography to create colorful banknotes that could be produced cheaply. Fifteen series of MPC's were created, but only 13 series were issued.

C-days in Vietnam were always classified, never pre-announced. On C-day, soldiers would be restricted to base, preventing GIs from helping Vietnamese civilians--especially local bars, brothels, bar girls and other black market people, from converting old MPC to the newer style MPC.

References: Fred Schwan (1997) Military Payment Certificates. ISBN 0931960541


Some of my US Military Payment Currency Saved - 1968- 1969



South Vietnamese Currency -1968/1969


Vietnamese Currency - 1972


 My ESSO Gas Station map, I used to get around Vietnam and Saigon.

ON My Way Home Finally - October 19, 1969
New TSN Control Tower under Construction !

There Go Some of My Fellow SP's on Patrol in a V100

a  C-7A Caribou Taxiing By

My Plane Home !

Passengers Loading.


And We are Next !

The Next Stops, Clark AFB, Philippines, Anderson AFB, Guam
and on to Honolulu, Hawaii


C-141's on Guam During a stopover to refuel

B-52's on Guam

KC-135's on Guam

VIP KC-135 on Guam

Then Hawaii !

Circling Honolulu before Landing


Honolulu Airport


Layover Time at The Airport


Hawaiian Mountains near the Airport


Our Ride to Travis AFB Aboard United Airlines !


Our Flying Route Home - Hawaii, California to Miami, Florida

Then We Landed at Travis AFB in California

Then We got Discharged from the USAF at Travis AFB, Ca

and had a 65 mile trip to the San Francisco Airport

We Took a Taxi to San Francisco, Dined at the "TOP of The MARK",
Where I had One of the things  I really wanted, Big glasses of
Fresh Chocolate Milk!

Afterwards we made our way to the San Francisco Airport and got a
Flight home to Miami, Florida.

I rented a new Mustang, drove to Homestead AFB, Visited Friends and then
drove home to West Palm Beach and surprised my family, as they did not
have any idea when I was coming home !

Audio Recordings From CSC 1968-1969

I have copies of Reel to Reel tapes From CSC for Several Events, Such as TET
and others FROM 1968 & 1969, Unfortunately,  I do not have a working
Reel to Reel recorder any more.
Some 15 or more years ago, I was able to copy about 1 hour to a cassette tape,
Before my Sanyo Reel to Reel recorder finally quit.
I also have hundreds of hours of News and Music recorded off AFVN Radio.
If anyone in the South Florida area has a working unit, I would love to
see if there is anything on my tapes that can be saved and ported to
either cdrom or DVD !

My email: rsherma598@aol.com


Then Open the File on Your Computer !


1. TET Offensive  Tan Son Nhut Jan 31, 1968

TET Segment 1 - 10 mins - 9.5 mb .mp3 file

TET Segment 2 - 10 mins - 9.8 mb .mp3 file

2.  May 1968 Massive Rocket Attack on Tan Son Nhut

1968 VC Rocket Attack - 10 mins - 8.5 mb .mp3 file

3. May 1968 Offensive on Tan Son Nhut

May Offensive - 5 mins - 5.2 mb .mp3 file


This is a Must Read Book About  "TET 1968"

This Book is available from Amazon.com

This Book was written by Lt. Col Roger P. Fox while
assigned to the Office of Air Force History.
He was the Commander of the 377th SPS - 03/69 - 01/70

A Great Commander and Man for the Air Police
Deceased: Dec 14, 2001, Falls Church, Va

This Book is available from Amazon.com

This is a Good Book on Air Police History

This Book is available from Amazon.com

Forty Years Later - Tan Son Nhut AB - 2009 - With Aerial View.

Click the Picture for Greater Detail, When New file opens,
Then Double Click in that window to Enlarge !


AND Forty Years Later, the Saigon Area - 2009


New Entrance/Exit to Ho Chi Minh Intl Airport
Terminals, at top of Picture, Left of Rotary.


AND Forty Years Later, the Ho Chi Minh Intl Airport Control Tower



Vietnamese Currency - 2006- PRESENT

Ho Chi Minh is on All the Money now!




Current Currency Exchange Rate: $1.00 US = 17,925.00 VND, as of 9/10/2009 !

Wow....What a difference from

Currency Exchange Rate: $1.00 US = 3.75 SD, in 1969!



Join The VSPA Today - I am a Member - Click Picture to Link to the WebSite


 Copyright 2009 -   www.BobShermansPage.com -  All Rights Reserved.