United States of America Kingdom of Thailand
According to the US Department of Labor we who served during the Vietnam War years are ALL officially considered Vietnam Era Veterans, yet geographically according to where and when we served we are Veterans of the Vietnam War who served in Southeast Asia.
We are not attempting to pass ourselves off as something we are not, just seeking redress with the Veterans Affairs administration for treatment and compensation EQUAL to our brothers and sisters who served in Vietnam as many of us suffer the same symptoms from exposure of the same herbicides.
There is so much information on the internet that it's hard to find a starting point. This site is intended to be a place where online organizations and veterans groups with information concerning units stationed in Thailand under the command and control of the United States Army Support, Thailand (USARSUPTHAI) can be found here.
(You can become a Site Member, and Webmasters can join the webring at the bottom of this page to let others know about your website.)
Co-Founder: Mark O. Olson; Co-Founder & Webmaster: Joseph J. Wilson, Jr.
Reunion Fundraiser Item (Send email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and quantity of patches ordered,
then followup with payment for our USARSUPTHAI ASSOCIATION patch ($10 each - includes S. & H.)
Check or Money Order payable to: The 519th TAT
Mail to: Joe Wilson
1530 Winnebago Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80915
(Allow 10 days shipping time - estimated)
UNITED STATES ARMY SUPPORT, THAILAND
USARSUPTHAI 1966 – 1971
Kingdom of Thailand
The following makeup a chronological timeline and history of USARSUPTHAI
US Army Pacific
During the Vietnam War, USARPAC was located at Camp Shafter, Hawaii and provided combat forces, training, and logistical support for US Army in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
The history of the United States Army Support, Thailand (USARSUPTHAI) began as early as February 1956 as an element of IX Corps stationed in Okinawa. Known then as Headquarters IX Corps and assigned to Headquarters US Army Ryukyu Islands (USARYIS) as a planning group for Southeast Asia missions and exercises.
Headquarters US Army Ryukyu Islands
When IX Corps reorganized, a Headquarters and Headquarters Company formed on April 25, 1966 in Okinawa and began as the forerunner of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USARSUPTHAI.
The first commander of USARSUPTHAI was Colonel Francis W. O' Brien, then the Chief of Staff of IX Corps located in Okinawa. The unit met its readiness date on June 15, 1966, before receiving its notification of impending deployment for late September 1966 to the Kingdom of Thailand.
In October 1966, the first echelon of eleven officers and twenty-eight enlisted arrived at Camp Friendship, in Korat. Subsequent air and sea movements followed on schedule and the headquarters closed at Camp Friendship in Korat on November 15, 1966.
Brigadier General Edwin F. Black assumed command of the headquarters on December 11, 1966 and shortly thereafter met with representatives of USARPAC, USARYIS and 9th Logistical Command (B), USARSUPTHAI, and USMACTHAI to formulate plans for the orderly transfer of functions.
Brigadier General David E. Ott commanded the headquarters from December 1968 until January 1970.
Brigadier General John W. Vessey, Jr. commanded the headquarters from January 1970 until 25 January 1971.
Brigadier General John L. Osteen commanded the headquarters from 25 January 1971 until 1 July 1974.
USARSUPTHAI was discontinued on 1 July 1974 at Camp Samae San, in Sattahip and it's functions were assumed by the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Thailand, Support Group, a joint organization charged with providing administrative and logistical support to all U.S. military forces in Thailand and to selected U.S. government agencies in Southeast Asia. The government of Thailand requested all U.S. military forces be out of the country by March 1976.
The United States Army Support, Thailand shoulder patch was designated to portray the purpose and mission of the support role of the USARSUPTHAI Headquarters. The red field signifies enemy threat. The blue arrow refers to the penetration of threat and offensive action. The elephant tusks symbolize Thailand and the barring of enemy infiltration.
The missions of USARSUPTHAI are as follows: (1) Tactical: Provide the U. S. Army nucleus for a unilateral, bilateral or combined tactical headquarters to conduct ground combat operations in Thailand; (2) Training: Conduct continuing OJT (on-the-job training) of assigned Army units; (3) Planning: Conduct U. S. Army planning to support joint operational plans for current operations and contingency U. S. unilateral, bilateral and SEATO plans; (4) Management: Exercise command management supervision of U. S. Army construction programs, logistic operations, real property, facilities and project stocks; and (5) Logistical and Administrative: Provide (1) Logistical support to U. S. Air Force operations in North Vietnam and Laos and (2) U. S. Army and joint service support as directed.
The United States Army Support, Thailand Association
The USARSUPTHAI Association was created to highlight and explore, the brotherhood of airmen, coast guardsman, seaman, marines, soldiers and civilians whose job it was to monitor and expedite the war effort from military bases throughout Southeast Asia.
During the 1950’s the civil war in the Kingdom of Laos grew and by the early 1960’s the Kingdom of Thailand requested and received assistance when it seemed that this internal war would spill over and into its borders.
The first US combat troops were stationed at Bangkok’s Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base, and consisted of 4 combat aircraft stationed on alert beginning April 1961. As communist aggression increased in the region by 1962 priority for US intervention to Thailand was favored over that in Vietnam. It wasn’t until the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident that President Johnson committed US forces to Vietnam, while bolstering US troop strength in Thailand as well.
Due to the nature of the “Gentleman’s Agreement” between Thailand and the United States that prevented other nations from knowing the full extent of the US involvement to protect its ally, all communications and/or news “officially” proclaiming the extent of this involvement was banned by the Thai government.
Officially all bases were “Royal Thai Bases” and were commanded by Thai commanders, yet command of US troops was retained by the United States. News and news organizations were not permitted to name actions originating from Thailand and US personnel were not given official recognition for injuries received in actions in Thailand. *
This became a “Secret War” and still today said recognition is being sought by personnel who were there “unofficially”.
The most noticeable were the air crews who flew combat missions into North and South Vietnam, Laos and even Cambodia.
What were not seen were the US Coast Guardsmen manning LORAN stations in not so noticeable locations throughout central and northern Thailand, or the US Army Engineers carving bases and roadways out of virtual jungle in even the most demanding weather conditions?
Also unseen were the huge number of support troops who manned radio stations, field hospital and aid stations, motor pool dispatch offices and unit orderly rooms.
There were the military police and “top secret” recon patrols keeping an eye on things on “both” sides of the Mekong River.
It has been said that an army moves on its stomach. Well that stomach has to be fed. That is the job of the cooks and food preparation specialists. Before they can begin preparing their meals those rations and supplies have to be transported and disbursed to the respective bases and organizational mess or dining halls.
Another thing that fuels an army is funds. Everyone loves payday. Monies are received and paid out to various businesses and injected into the local economy through employment of local nationals at every level of the military. Military bases must be protected and defended in the event of subversive attacks.
Each of these unique functions is the specific responsibility of a host of military units of the various services within the US Department of Defense.
It is next to impossible to do justice to the virtually hundreds of military commands and organizations who made up this backbone within Thailand, yet each one is vitally important to the success and survival of the others.
I want to focus on facts that helped keep the Kingdom of Thailand from almost certain domination by the increasing communist threat in the region of Southeast Asia.
In May 1962, the Military Assistance Command, Thailand was formed and a Joint US Task Force (JTF 116) was sent to the Kingdom of Thailand. Combat troops were deployed in an exercise along the border region of the Mekong River to bolster the defensive forces and prevent the fighting to spill over from nearby Laos. Many of the units comprising the joint task force were stationed in Korea, Okinawa and Hawaii. This task force comprised of a Marine Battalion Landing Team (BLT), the 1st Battle Group, 27th Infantry (25th Infantry Division) and supporting elements under a detachment of the 9th Logistical Command. In August 1962, they were joined by an army aviation company composed of Caribou aircraft and the 1st Battle Group, 35th Infantry (25th Infantry Division) replaced the 27th Infantry. The task force was withdrawn in November 1962 after the situation in Laos stabilized.
In the meantime, several US Army units had been sent to Thailand on a permanent basis under the 9th Logistical Command and by November 1966 the US Army Support Command had been established. **
The United States Army Support, Thailand
All Army units in Thailand came under the operational control of USARSUPTHAI and played a vital part of the war in Vietnam and early on:
Detachments of the 46th Special Forces Company operated with and trained Thai Army personnel and providing medical support to a number of remote villages throughout northern Thailand.
The 428th Medical Battalion had responsibility for 2 field hospitals, the 5th Field Hospital in Bangkok and the 31st Field Hospital in Korat, plus a number of dental and medical detachments.
The 44th Engineer Group had overall responsibility of building infrastructures and roadway nets that would link each military base together, providing better access in an area primarily consisting of jungle growth utilizing units of the 809th Engineer Battalion and other engineer assets brought in for that specific purpose (quite a huge undertaking, even by today’s standards). The 697th Engineer Company (Pipeline) had the responsibility for constructing buildings, huge “Tank Farms” for fuel storage facilities, all the buildings and even the plumbing for every base in Thailand.
The 596th Quartermaster Company arriving in Thailand as part of the US Strike Command had the responsibility of operating those massive “Tank Farms” for each of the airbases to be used by United States Air Force personnel and coming under the 9th Logistical Command (B).
The USA STRATCOM Signal Battalion, Provisional had the responsibility of building and maintaining critical communications networks and links that would tie these military bases to the rest of the US Army forces in Southeast Asia and beyond.
The transportation needs of US forces would be met by two transportation battalions, the 499th Transportation Battalion (Terminal) and the 519th Transportation Battalion (Motor Transport).
The 499th was responsible for receiving cargo in country at the Deep Water Port in Sattahip, the Ammunition Piers at Vayama and the Peers in Bangkok.
The 519th was responsible for transporting much of this cargo (in concert with the local ETO Company) from the ports all the way to destination (more than 1066 highway miles) utilizing Trailer Transfer Points strategically placed enroute at critical points (Sattahip, Korat, Khon Kaen).
The lifeblood of the entire US military operations depended upon their success.
These are the major commands that controlled much of the Army’s assets in Thailand:
Joint US Military Assistance, Thailand
Joint US Military Advisory Group, Thailand
Joint US Military Advisory Group, Thailand, Support Group, Provisional
Joint US Military Advisory Group, Thailand, Support Group A
US Army Bangkok Area Command, Provisional
US Army Depot, Thailand, Provisional (later 501st Field Depot)
US Army Sattahip Area Command, Provisional
US Army Special Troops, Bangkok
US Army Special Troops, Korat
US Army Special Troops, Sattahip
US Army Support Command, Thailand
9th Logistical Command (63 – 70)**
* United States Air Force in Thailand - http://wapedia.mobi/en/United_States_Air_Force_in_Thailand
**Appendix B - The US Army in Thailand during the Vietnam Conflict (Vietnam Order of Battle – Shelby L. Stanton)
105th SIG DET (SVCS SPT)
125th SIG BN, 25th INF DIV (JTF 116)
128th MED BN (Korat)
138th TR DET (TTPO) (Vayama)
13th MP CO (SEP) 24 Jan 69 - 29 Mar 73 (Korat)
142nd EN CO (Samae San)
145th EN CO (Samae San)
162nd MED DET (Vayama)
165th MED DET (Vayama)
16th INF (Samae San)
17th MI DET (Bangkok)
172nd TR DET (Friendship)
1st BG, 27th INF (JTF 116)
1st BG, 35th INF (JTF 116)
1st BN, 35th INF, 25th INF DIV (JTF 116)
1st SFG, 3rd BN
1st SIG BDE
1st SIG BN
201st SIG DET (RB)
234th EN CO (Vayama)
254th TR DET (Friendship)
258th TR DET (Friendship)
270th ORD DET (Friendship)
270th TR DET (AVN) Korat RTAFB 69 – 71 (NEW)
28th SIG CO (Friendship)
29th SIG CO
302nd SIG CO (Bangkok)
305th S & S Co (DS) 3/12/68 - 4/15/69) (Sat SATTAHIP
33rd TR PLT (REFER) 10 May 67 - 1 Apr 70 (Korat)
35th FIN & DISB CO (Korat)
47th F & A CO
488th MED AMB DET
499th TR BN, HQ GRP (Vayama)
503rd MED BN
509th ASA UNIT (Ramasun)
513th MP DET (Friendship)
523rd MED AMB DET 67 - 68 (Korat)
528th EN CO
537th EN BN (Samae San)
538th EN BN, C CO (Vayama)
538th EN BN, D PLT (Samae San)
549th EN DET (CA)
549th QM CO
579th QM CO
57th MAINT CO (DS) 1 Apr 63 - 20 Feb 71 (Korat)
597th EN CO (Essayons)
597th TR CO (Vayama)
5th RRU – Bangkok – Became 83rd RRSOU in 9/66 – 20/70
5th RRU, DET "D" 1965 (Ramasun)
640th TR DET (TUGBOAT) (Samae San)
6924th SECURITY SQUADRON – 1/8/70 – 24/4/71
70th AVN FLT DET (Friendship)
712th PMU (USARTHAI & Friendship)
720th MP BN (Friendship)
7th AIR PLT (Friendship)
7th AVN DET – Udorn 68-74
7th AVN DET – Utapoe 6/74-5/75
7th RRFS, B CO (Khao Khieo) (Ramasun)
809th EN B, D CO (Ku Su Mon) (Sakhon Nakhon)
809th EN BN, B CO (NKP)
809th EN BN, B CO (Vayama)
809th EN BN, C CO (Raum Chit Chi) (Sakhon Nakhon)
83rd RRSOU – Bangkok – 1959-9/66
89th MP DET
972nd SIG BN
999th EN BN (Friendship)
999th SIG BN 1961-62 (Ramasun)
9th LOG CMD, PAD 55/56 (Friendship)
9th LOG CMD, PBO, Sattahip (9th Log)
9th TERM CMD (Samae San)
After closing the 83rd RRSOU, all detachments were re-designated to 7th RRFS.
AREA MAT SUP FAC (Samae San)
DEPCHJUSMAGTHAI (PROJ 404)
DET 4, 6922nd SECURITY WING – 4/65-1/8/70
DET 4, 6922nd SECURITY WING – Inception 4/65 – 1970/71
DET 4, 6922nd SECURITY WING – Inception Apr 65 – 1970/71
DET A, 7th RRFS – Minburi-DF 65-76
DET A, 83rd RRSOU – Minburi-DF 65-76
DET A, 83rd RRSOU – Miniburi-DF 65-76
DET B, 7th RRFS – Chiang Mai-DF 62-76
DET B, 83rd RRSOU – Ubon-DF 62-76
DET B, 83rd RRSOU – Ubon-DF 62-76
DET C, 7th RRFS – Ubon-DF 62-76
DET C, 83rd RRSOU – Chiang Mai-DF 62-76
DET C, 83rd RRSOU – Chiang Mai-DF 62-76
DET D, 7th RRFS – Phanom Sarakham-DF 70-76
DET D, 83rd RRSOU – Udorn-DF 14/4/65-25/9/66
DET D, 83rd RRSOU – Udorn-DF/Intercept 14 Apr 65 – 25 Sep 66
DET D, 83rd RRSOU became 7th RRFS 25/9/66-20/6/76
DET J, 7th RRFS – Ubon-Intercept 9/68-6/74
DET J, 83rd RRSOU – Ubon-Intercept 9/68-6/74
H & S CO (Ramasun)
HQ DET, 7th RRFS – Udorn after 10/70
HQ DET, 83rd RRSOU – Bangkok
I & S DIV
JOINT US MILITARY AGENCY GROUP (JUSMAG) (Friendship)
MILITARY ASSISTANCE COMMAND THAILAND (MACTHAI)
MILITARY ASSISTANCE COMMAND THAILAND (MACTHAI), HHC (Samae San)
MILITARY ASSISTANCE COMMAND THAILAND SUPPORT GROUP (Samae San)
NAVY SECURITY DET – Udorn 1/71-5/5/76SRU-11 (Signal Research Unit 11) Don Maung RTAFB, Bangkok (8/1/62 - 9/1/69)
TR MVMT OFC I (Sattahip)
TR MVMT OFC II (Korat)
TR MVMT OFC III (Udorn)
US EMBASSY ATTACHE OFFICE
USA AMMUNITION ACTIVITY THAILAND, UDORN DETACHMENT (PEPPERGRINDER)
USA BANGKOK AREA COMMAND (PROVISIONAL)
USA CENTRAL IDENTIFICATION LABORATORY THAILAND (CILTHAI) (Samae San)
USA DEPOT THAILAND
USA MATERIAL COMMAND, B COMPANY
USA SATTAHIP AREA COMMAND (PROVISIONAL)
USA SPECIAL TROOPS BANGKOK
USA SPECIAL TROOPS KORAT
USA SPECIAL TROOPS SATTAHIP
USA SUPPORT COMMAND, THAILAND
USA TERMINAL COMMAND
USA TERMINAL COMMAND, DEEP WATER PORT (Samae San)
USA TRANSPORTATION ACTIVITY, SSO BKK
USACC-THAILAND-I&S (U.S. Army Communications Command-Thailand)
USARSUPTHAI (Samae San)
USARSUPTHAI CE Division (Friendship)
USARSUPTHAI DCSSPO (Samae San)
USARSUPTHAI G-3 Section (Friendship)
USARSUPTHAI HHD Liaison (Friendship)
USARSUPTHAI, CE DIV
USARSUPTHAI, HHD (Friendship)
USASTRATCOM FAC (Samae San) (Warin)
USASTRATCOM SIG Bn. Long Lines Communications Unknown - 7/14/69 UBON
USASTRATCOM SIG Bn., Provisional- Long Lines Communications Unknown - 7/14/69
USASTRATCOM-I&S (INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY DIVISION) (Phu Mu)
USASTRATCOM-Thailand (Phu Mu)
USATA (Samae San)
USMAGTHAI, SUP GRP A