Welcome to Bill Bentgen's Website

ASA Page

175th Radio Research Company Crest

Army Commendation Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal 2nd Award, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/5 campaigns, Viet Nam Service Medal

Army Security Agency Crest

Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation with 2 palmsPresidential Unit Citation with 2 Oak Leaf ClustersViet Nam Civil Action Unit Citatiion with Palm

I was in the U. S. Army from 29 August, 1967 until 2 November, 1973, spending most of that time as a Morse Intercept Operator ("ditty bopper") in the Army Security Agency. From 9 June, 1968 until 30 July, 1970, I was at the 175th Radio Research Company at Bien Hoa, Republic of Viet Nam.

When I arrived at the 175th, operations worked out of five semi trailers backed up to a corrugated metal building. Each trailer had five positions. 4 trailers were manned 16 hours a day, and one trailer was manned 24 hours a day. Day and afternoon tricks rotated, and there were 5 ops on permanent mids who listened to "Radio Station Peace and Progress, the Voice of Soviet Public Opinion" most of the night. Charlie didn't like sending dits in the early morning hours.

R 390 Receiver

Above is an R-390 receiver. It covered everything from 500KHz to 30 MHz. Charlie hung out between 4 and 7 MHZ. This receiver even has its own  web page. (And still another!)

Senior NCO's when I arrived were "Charlie" Weaver and MSG "Poncho" Gonzalez. Arriving the same time as I was SFC O'Mara who had been my instructor at Fort Devens. First Sergeant was a guy named Pike. The operator who showed me the ropes and got me through my "new guy" period was Sp/5 Mobly. CO when I left was Major Joe Frerking. If any of you guys are out there, give me a holler.

During my second or third extension, operations moved to an air-conditioned concrete building. next to the antenna field.

One of my Temporary Duty assignments while in Viet Nam was at the 547th Australian Signal Troop at Nui Dat.
Bob Hughes with new ops building and antenna farm in background. Chip Pyle (sans customary mustache and sunglasses) and Mark Isbel. Maj. Joe Frerking & yours truly. getting either a medal or an Article 15, can't remember which.

Here are some links to other ASA pages..

Army Security Agency Patch Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster Good Conduct Medal, 2nd Award National Defense Service Medal Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal with 5 Campaign Stars Viet Nam Service Ribbon 175th Radio Research Company Patch

Page last updated January 28, 2008

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