Eighth Aerial Port Squadron, USAF in Vietnam

Sgt. Christopher K. Hartley's Photos and Story

Song Be Army Air Field
MACV Compound



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The MACV Compound, Our Home Away From Home
This was our home away from home while in Song Be. Finally after a long day we see the MACV Compound.   Man, I can't wait for that cold shower...especially if the water runs out midway through. Bet stateside they'd pay hundreds for this red mud treatment.
Night Falls on the Compound
We (Air Force guys) were always alert when evening fell, usually we prefered to pull the guard duty down on the green line because the Army guys were usually stoned out of their heads and we didn't feel real comfortable with them watching for Charlie.
One of the Compound Defenseive Weapons
Personal Weapons We Carried
I had a picture of the M60, on my bed, that I carried for a while, when I find it again I will add it here.
One of the House Girls
I remember the time I really screwed up by passing over the head of one of the girls sitting in my doorway. There were a group of the girls sitting around ond one was right in the doorway when someone yelled at me to come on. I just figured that if I stepped over them and did not interrupt them it would be quicker and more courteous. BIG MISTAKE!! When I stepped over her I passed over her head and all the girls started screaming at me. She came at me hitting like she wanted to kill me. I later found out that it had something to do with her Buddhist faith and that by passing over her head I committed some huge sin. Oh well, live and learn. I sure didn't do that again. She never did forgive me even though I earnestly apologizied.
Aah, the comforts of home, getting a haircut but no shave
Who said you cant have Christmas in the middle of a war?
Even amidst the ugly stuff there was some real beauty; even if it was the greenline at dusk
Here I am with an AK that we passed around to have our pictures taken with.
We didn't get a lot of time off but when we did we liked to see the country.CLICK HERE to see some of what we saw.
A view of the valley from the Compound's center bunker
A view from one of the French Built bunkers, or so we were told, on the greenline, looking toward the ARVIN compound.
Every morning we would prepare to leave for the Air Field.
We went in two vehicles this AF truck and an Army Jeep with a M-60 mount on the back. This just happened to be the morning of 23 December 1969 after we had been in the trenches all night long. Charlie had hit the Special Forces camp along the road to the air field as well as LZ Buttons and the surrounding area. We had no idea this would be the day we'd get hit at the strip as well. To see more about the attack at the strip.

Attack Destroying the MACV Compound

I had left Song Be to begin Mob Team Duty just a week or so prior to the attack on the compound, shortly after the attack, I returned and was given a group of pictures of the compound destruction. I don't recall who gave me the pictures but it was someone who was there durring the attack. I also had some that I took as well. To view these photos CLICK HERE More detail on the attack can be found at the Letter of Commendation to MSgt Robinson