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 Guard Duty-Dan Lentz

Also the day before I was assigned to HHC is when the gooks came through the wire,
 and slit the throats of some of the guys from HHC. I guess it was our bunker sector
that they came through. Don't recall all of the details of that one, except that the
 helicopter pad just behind our bunker sector, which housed some Chinook Helicopters,
 still had evidence of the burned birds when I went to pull guard duty. It was all pretty
 eerie at the time.....attached is another picture taken at the time although the
helicopter pad is barely visible. They were located behind the protective screening next
 to our bunker line.


 Clipper Control-Dan Lentz




 Clipper Control-Dan Lentz



 Clipper Control-Dan Lentz

                                                      Dan Lentz Now
Well Brother I am not sure I can tell you everything that Headquarters Company did but I can tell you about my small piece of the world while I was there.
I was originally supposed to go to aircraft mechanics school but when I got to Ft. Rucker, I and about 8 or 9 other guys were offered the opportunity to go to Air Traffic Control school at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. Figured anything had to be better than Ft. Rucker, so off I went. Spent the 4 months or so going to school and headed for Nam in February 69 and was assigned to the 25th.

The place that I worked was the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) which was commonly known as Clipper Control and was located only about 75 yards or so from the company area. It was a bunker made from very large medal shipping crates welded together, covered with sand bags, and yes, air conditioned. Had to keep it cool in order for the radio's to work correctly.....yeah right! Not sure which direction it was from the Company area, but it was just across the street from our Company Clerks office. We ran a 24/7 operation with about 6 or 8 guys, providing flight following services. Our shifts were from 7 to 7 and for the first 6 months that I was in-country I worked the 7pm to 7am shift, 5 days a week. We kept radio contact with all of the ships from our Division, that were airborne at the time. As you know, "A" Company ships ran the sorties, and "B" Company was the gunship support. As soon as the ships were released from the ATC tower the pilot would contact Clipper Control and let us know that they were off of Cu Chi, they would tell where they were going and their ETA. When they got to their destination they would contact us and "Tally Ho". Once they lifted off again they would contact us and give us the same information. This happened time after time, until they returned back to the base camp. And if any ship went down for any reason, or any ground troops needed gunship support, we would immediately scramble both gunship support and rescue/recover support. We monitored the "Guard" emergency radio frequency so that if any aircraft or helicopter went down (Air Force, Marine, or Navy) in our AO, we'd scramble support. We'd have as many as 20 to 50 ships in the air at any one time and we'd keep communications open with all of them. We monitored UHF, VHF and FM radio frequencies and we had to keep a written log of all of our communications (nope no tapes at that time).

Over all it was pretty good duty, especially once I got on the day shift. When I returned to the States I was assigned to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, GA (just missed going to Hawaii, Nixon started bringing the troops home, 2 weeks after I left and the 25th was the first division to return). At Hunter I controlled aircraft and we helped train Vietnamese pilots. What a trip that was....all I can say is it is good that helicopters can pretty much stop in mid-air because there were many close calls due to language breakdown.

After Nam I went to College in Northern Arizona. Got a degree in Forest Management and have been working for the US Forest Service since then. Am eligible for retirement but not quite ready to go.

Attached are some photos of a very young guy inside of Clipper Control. There is also a picture of a much older guy and his motorcycle. I now ride with the Vietnam Vets Motorcycle Club and we are always looking for new Brothers to join our ranks. If any of your contacts ride motorcycles (no they don't have to be Harley's, but then again there is no other bike but a Harley!) have them get a hold of me and I can put them in contact with someone from their state.
Welcome home Brothers........Good to hear from you.
Dan (aka Lone Ranger VNV M/C)

 Outside Clipper Control



 Pathfinder Hooch




 Cpt Fred Irtz, SSG Mike Mesiarik and CPL Hundley