Additional Vivid Memories Of
Charles R. "Chuck" Dunbaugh, Commanding Officer

I dug into my "treasure chest" and found my Foxes Scarf.  I wonder if there were many more floating around?  Also, I have my Purple Foxes flag the SNCO's gave me which was flown on the jeep when I drove it.

Looking at the names on the roster was very interesting and brings back a lot of fond memories.  The first time I was in SEASIA was in the fall of 1959.  As the Marine Corps Liaison officer at Tachikawa, Japan, I arranged for the transportation of a lot of the early lifts into the area that no one knew about.  When the Marine Corps discharged a squadron, and sent them to Vientien, Loas, as Air America employees, I had to arrange for the replacement of UH-34's when they lost one.

Then a squadron rotated to the Delta area at Soc Trang where the operation was known as Shu Fly.  HMM-364, and others, rotated in and out.  The Shu Fly operation moved up to Da Nang about a year later and occupied the old French Compound.  On June 30, 1964, I was spirited to Sasebo, and the USS Epping Forest (LPD) to meet with the anchor clankers and the Rear Admiral whose flagship we were on.  After a short briefing and his Chief of Staff told me, and a couple of his planners, to develop a plan to survey Cam Ranh Bay.  On 30 June I was merely a Captain, but represented and could commit USMC resources to do the job.  Our Wing CG in Iwakuni said go, so I went.

We retired to the O'Club that evening and developed plans for the survey by the UDT and Fleet Recon of the underwater area up and to the piedmonts.  We used a couple bar napkins, then some lined tablet paper the next day.  Before I left the Chief of Staff asked a Commander and I, "Can you pull it off?"  Of course the answer was yes, and he said, "Good, we will be in Buckner Bay in a week to load the Marine resources as soon as we hit the refueling bouy."  What complicated it was that the ships fuel tanks had been purged of AvGas as the Navy had gone a few weeks before to JP.  We put two of MAG-16's refuelers on the Epping Forest along with two helicopters, and a Force Recon team and were out within four hours.  The ship stopped by Subic Bay to pick up the UDT survey team.  So, before the Turner Joy destroyer incident, we already had the survey done and the construction firm committed to build the big pier at Cam Ranh Bay.

The Marine Corps was committed to Viet Nam for a long time.  I wrote the helicopter annex for the evacuation of
Saigon in March/April 1965.  We missed the execute date by about 2 years.   USMC was to be out in 1972.

Also Read "LtCol. Dunbaugh's Purple Foxes"

Charles R. "Chuck" Dunbaugh
LtCol.                    USMC (Ret)
2701 Colonial Drive
Dickenson, Texas 77539-4406

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