Around 11 PM on Sept 29, 1965 Co B with 116 personnel departed Ft. Campbell on Caribbean Airlines (a charter flight). Landed in California and was transported by bus to the ship arriving about midnight California time. Already on board were elements of the lst Infantry Division and some other units. The ship the USNS Barrett departed the next day on Sept 30, 1965.
The trip to Vietnam took about 22 days. At Guam the ship had to refuel and all the troops were taken to one of the recreational beaches and treated to a Bar-B-Q and some liquid refreshments. Because of a limited number vehicles, troops were transported back to the ship in relays. When we found out that we were going to be the last group, most of us formed up in Company formation and *double timed* back to the ship with an Airborne attitude. ( Each time we passed another unit or they passed us (in the trucks) we would serenade them with the Mickey Mouse Club theme song.)
A few days before reaching Nam, in accordance with orders, we changed our unit designation to the 11th RRU and our insignia from MI to Signal Corp.
We arrived at Vung Tau, South Vietnam on Oct 20, 1965. After a short pause on the beach and getting organized, we boarded aircraft and flew from Vung Tau to Bien Hoa where we got transportation to the lst Division staging area at Long Bien. Lt. Joe D. Button and other members of Det 2 were waiting for us at Bien Hoa and escorted us to the staging area. Lt Button provided us with a jeep and a 3/4ton so that we would have some transportation of our own.
WELCOME TO THE VIETNAM JUNGLE
Fort Lewis Today
This page contains photos of what Fort Lewis looks like today. These photos were taken by Robert Swankoski in September, 2016. Many members of the Det 2, 3rd RRU shipped from Fort Lewis to Viet Nam in June 1965.