60 years ago today on January 3, 1962, Marine cryptologists began their service in South Vietnam with the arrival of Detachment A, First Radio Company Fleet Marine Force, which established itself at Pleiku.
In January 1962, by order of then Secretary of Defense McNamara, 1st Composite Radio Company deployed a detachment of Marines, identified as Sub Unit #1, to Pleiku, South Vietnam. Pleiku is located in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam (SVN) known militarily as II Corps. Established as a four month rotational (training) effort and being attached to the U.S. Army Security Group’s 3rd Radio Research Unit (3rd RRU) based at Davis Station, Saigon, SVN, the detachment’s mission was to gather information on the movements, disposition and assist in developing the intensions of North Vietnam and Viet Cong military organizations in support of the 3rd RRU and U.S. forces in Vietnam. The unit was billeted at an Army of Vietnam’s base which also housed U.S. Military Army Advisory and Assistance Group.
The third detachment of the Marines sent to Pleiku saw a few members assigned directly to the 3rd RRU, Saigon to perform vital airborne tactical support in locating enemy units in the immediate area. Together, the combined work of this 3rd detachment’s deployment to Vietnam not only lifted the threat of terminating continued deployments in support of the 3rd RRU, it raised production to a level of production that warranted the Secretary of the Army, on May 14, 1963, to award those Marines in support of the 3rd RRU between January and December 1962, the U.S. Army Meritorious Unit Citation. This outstanding support remained vital to U.S. forces efforts through the evacuation of Saigon in 1967.
3 January 2022 at 13:28
This was interesting and something I did not know about. I knew we had Marines associated with intercept of code and voice but I did not know when it began? I served with guys who went later from Kamiseya, Japan and some spent time on the Rock Pile and other places. After my 2 years at Kamiseya, I was sent to the 1st Radio Bn as a SSgt and housed on Hill 327. I was the Plt Sgt and spent time traveling to many of our outlying posts, Chu Lai, An Hoa, Hoi An, Liberty Bridge, Hill’s 55, 65, Camp Perdue and Hill 364. My last commanding officer was then, COlL P.X. Kelly. I would NOT trade the experiences I encountered for a anything. Our guys were incredible at what they did, Code, DF, Voice, etc. Thanks for sharing this. Healthy and a Happy New Year.
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4 January 2022 at 21:09
Which Saigon did you evacuate in 1967. I’m sure there are a lot of dead who would of liked to see that since our politicians eventually bartered us away ! Time to pop another Lithium 😦
7 February 2022 at 10:33
I when TDY in may 64to Phu Bai I had a Rtty link with KW7 to the other
First Radio folks COWas then Msj Gray letter CMC.st Khe Sahn.. they stayed
Until July st Phu Bai they had aE8 doing some spooky stuff..had decent time supporting
The 18 Marines at Kha Shan
26 November 2022 at 21:30
God bless my mentor and good friend, Tony Cistaro, who died at 92 on October 7, 2022. Memorial service in DC 12/13/22. Call me at (540) 459-8251.
7 February 2023 at 03:00
I was at kamiseya Sept64-May 67. Anyone know GYSGT Wood, my advanced A school at Corry, graduated Aug 64. Sgt Chicca, who was on the Puelblo, was in that class. Also, GYSGT Novak was one of my supervisors at Kami. Gary Thomas CTR3
7 February 2023 at 03:03
REFERENCE LAST POST: should read GYSGT Wood was my advanced A school instructor..,