218th MP Co Letters (Standish)
After 44 years, my mind is somewhat dimmed, but some things do stick out from my experience with the 218th..I was ordered from my assignment in Frankfurt, FRG to Ft. Bragg, NC in June of 1966..I was assigned to Co. B, 503rd MP Bn, performing the usual patrol duties, traffic control & accident investigations..In September 1966 the 218th MP Co. was formed for training and later deployment to RVN..The new unit consisted most of B co. personnel & the 118th Abn Corps MP Co (Abn)..So, half of the original 218th were "leg" & the other were airborne..Needless to say, a huge rivalry developed between the two..Following 3 months of jungle training at Bragg, we became a pretty tight group..On 26 Dec 66, we boarded the troop ship Gen. O. Darby and were enroute to RVN as the fully trained and equipped 218th MP Co..
After 18 days at sea, we arrived at Port Naha, Okinawa, where everyone had a 6 hour shore leave..we reboarded the ship, and and another 3 days at sea before arriving in Cam Ranh Bay(one huge sand dune)..We erected gp tents for shelters & began carving out a company area, by working with engineers, to construct screened in, wooden barracks, orderly room, & mess facility..We took over the law enforcement duties from the 630th MP Co, and they were not very happy with us..Until our arrival, the had the law enforcement, fan-tail security and other physical security duties..Now we had the patrol duties, including village patrols, accident investigations and convoy escort duties..We did not have any detached units from the company until later into my tour..We had 5 platoons, which was unusual, and eventually the 218th had detached squads and platoons to Ban Me Thout, DaLat, Phang Rang, etc..I remained in Cam Ranh running convoy security escorts to those areas, until my DEROS in Dec 1967..I'll forever remember my RVN tour, which was marked with periods of fear, laughter, strong friendships & sadness..Our unit was tight and looked out for each other..Overall, the leadership was great..CPT Shumway the original CO was an outstanding leader, Lt Blankenship was another..I left before Co HQ was transferred to Nha Trang. We had a Greek guy, a E-5 sergeant, I can't remember his name for obvious reasons, but he worked in the motor pool, repainting the armored gun jeeps..We used to tease him because no one could pronounce his name, and get him real angry to the point that he chased all the EM out of the painting tent with steel bars or any other deadly weapons he could find..He would have used them, too had we not been faster..I remember one of original cooks; an old man in his late 50's, early60's..He was a PFC..He had been an E-7 at one point in his Army career, but kept getting busted because of his drinking..We used to call him "cookie", which he hated..He insisted in being called, "private first class"..Just a couple of the numerous humorous incidents that happened..During a convoy escort to ban Me Thout, we lost one guy who was changing a flat on his gun jeep..We were escorting these huge flatbed trucks, 5 tonners I think, loaded with PSP steel landing strips..somehow, the truck lost forward momentum, and rolled backward and over this guy. I am ashamed to say I cannot remember his name, because he was one of the original members from Bragg.
With the passage of years, I can see many faces from those days, but not many of their names..I am a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America..Let me encourage you, if you are not part of this organization, to check out your local chapter..

Welcome Home, Brothers

Malcolm (Jock) Standish, El Paso, TX
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