Tan Son Nhut Association Photo of the Month
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Graphic courtesy of:

Gary Jones

U-Dorn, RTAB, Thailand
432nd Air Police Squadron

Phan Rang, Vietnam
822 Combat Security Police Squadron and the 35th Security Police Squadron

Danang, Vietnam
366th Security Police Squdron

Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam
377th Security Police Squadron

In Feb 1966 George Bevich and Rex 674F departed Loring enroute to an assignment with the 377th Security Police Squadron at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam (TSN).

Some ten months later, in the early morning hours of 4 Dec 1966, George and his sentry dog were manning one of the distant perimeter K-9 posts at TSN when two Viet Cong Sapper units penetrated the perimeter of the base.

George raised the alarm and engaged the enemy.

He was subsequently killed by artillery/mortars in the attack.

At the time of his death George was just 22 years old.

In raising the early warning alarm on that tragic morning at TSN with his fellow dog handlers, George's brave actions saved lives and aircraft.

George was the first U.S. Air Force dog handler to be killed in Vietnam.

He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.

His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Wash, DC, Panel 13E, Line 9.

George was well-liked by all who knew him.

He was our brother-in-arms.  His fellow dog handlers admired and respected him a great deal, "The Bond" has not been broken, and it never will be.

All remember George today with deep affection; he is not forgotten.

Indeed, we lost a friend and a brother on that terrifying December morning at Tan Son Nhut.

We believe that it is incumbent upon all of us not to let George's memory die.

So we ask that you set aside a moment each December 4th to remember --  to think of him with his big gut-busting laugh, his life tragically cut short by a horrible war -- and who, in the end, gave his life for each of us.
1 Graphic courtesy of:

Fred Johnson, Bill Johnson and Jeff Johnson, son's of:

Lt Col Grove C. Johnson, Commander
377th Air Police Squadron
1966  - 1967

Major Roger P. Fox, received the nation's third highest medal, the Silver Star, for his actions taken on Dec 4-5, 1966.

Let history take you back forty-three years ago this month.

It is now 1:10 A.M., December 4, 1966, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, it is quiet as usual and then a sentry dog alerts to some movement in a very large and deep ditch, known as "Utah Ditch."  It is surrounded by tree's, bushes and weed's, located on the north-west side of the installation.

The handler calls in the situation report, of a large group of men, moving inside his defensive position, where this ditch is located, to Central Security Control (CSC).

Almost simultaneously, other sentry dog handler's saw the same movement.  Radio traffic begins to pick up.

Immediately the enemy forces opens up with automatic weapons fire and mortars.  The Air Base was hit by stand-off weapons of approximately 33 of these mortar rounds.

The size of the Viet Cong infiltration force was estimated to have been over 75 sappers and commando's.

For the first time a ground assault on Tan Son Nhut Air Base begins.  (Previously, on April 13, 1966 Tan Son Nhut had been attacked with 246 Rockets and Mortars within thirteen minutes.)

Once inside the perimeter, the enemy had divided into smaller groups to attack their various targets.  The targets were the bomb dump, flight line and targets of opportunity.

This first report from the sentry dog handler enabled the air policemen of the 377th Air Police Squadron, time to engage the enemy.  A blocking force had been established and the fighting was fierce.

Thanks to the quick action's of the air policemen, damage to aircraft and facilities was minimal.

Aircraft destroyed--------000
Aircraft damaged---------000
US KIA-------------------------003
US WIA ------------------------015
RVN KIA-----------------------003
RVN WIA-----------------------004
Enemy KIA-------------------028
Enemy prisoners---------004

Really, it was just a moment ago for those who was there

Roger P. Fox passed from this life on Dec 14, 2000
2 Graphic courtesy of:

Fred Johnson, Bill Johnson and Jeff Johnson, son's of:

Lt Col Grove C. Johnson, Commander
377th Air Police Squadron
1966  - 1967

A2C Alvin W. Curie, 377th Air Police Squdron, received the nation's third highest medal, the Silver Star, for his actions taken on Dec 4-5, 1966.

It was Curie, who handled the M-60 machine gun and A2C Robert B. Kane, assistant machine gunner, who defended their assigned bunker in Delta Sector, Delta Bunker-11, on the single runway, positioned on the inner defense perimeter, all through the attack.

When daylight came and the action died down a little, it was discovered there were thirteen dead enemy bodies less than 100 feet, from their bunker.

Alvin W. Curie passed from this life on Dec 7, 1983.
3 Graphic courtesy of:

Fred Johnson, Bill Johnson and Jeff Johnson, son's of:

Lt Col Grove C. Johnson, Commander
377th Air Police Squadron
1966  - 1967

A2C Tommy C. Poole, received the nation's third highest medal, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart medal for his actions taken on Dec 4-5, 1966.

A2C Poole is a sentry dog handler.
5 Graphic courtesy of:

Fred Johnson, Bill Johnson and Jeff Johnson, son's of:

Lt Col Grove C. Johnson, Commander
377th Air Police Squadron
1966  - 1967

A2C Throneburg, Robert A., wounded in action on 4 Dec 1966, is being presented the Purple Heart at U. S. Army 3rd Field Hospital by Col Grover K. Coe, Tan Son Nhut's Base Commander.   (Dec 1966)

377th Air Police Squadron
Sentry Dog Handler, handled NEMO A534

Also awarded the Bronze Star

Saigon, Vietnam
4 Graphic courtesy of:

Bill Cummings
635th Security Police Squadron
1970 - 1971
U-Tapao, Thailand

Sentry Dog NEMO A534, and his handler, A2C Robert A. Throneburg were posted for the night.

Just before total darkness on December 4th, 1966 after Sentry Nemo (A534) and his handler were posted, Nemo alerted and was released to attack the VC who had evaded earlier detection. Nemo and his handler were both wounded, but not before killing two VC. Nemo's injuries included the loss of one eye and a gunshot wounded that ripped into his nose.

A sweep of the area by the Quick Response Team (QRT) met with negative results.

Using additional sentry dog teams, the security forces located and killed four more VC.

A second sweep with the dog teams resulted in the discovery of four additional VC who were hiding underground. The remaining enemy forces were soon killed by other security police.

Before help could arrive, Nemo, an 85 pound German shepherd, although severely wounded, protected his handler by crawling across his body, and guarding him against anyone who dared to come near. When help arrived, they were able to convince Nemo to leave his handler, who was then given first aid. Nemo, suffering from a gunshot wound to his face, and the lost of his right eye, was relieved of sentry dog duties.

The 377th SPS was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor for its "heroic valor," against the Viet Cong infiltration force.
6 Graphic courtesy of:

Donald W. Flickinger
6250th Combat Support Group
377th Supply Squadron
October 1965 - October 1966

Christmas Day Menu.
7 Graphic courtesy of:  Donald Flickinger





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