SOG Training

Overview: In mid 1965, MACSOG's Ops 35's Shining Brass reconnaissance training program was begun at Kham Duc "B-53" was the cover name for the training program which was derived from Detachment B-53, 5th SFGA who was responsible for the camp, that took place during 1966. The first SOG Reconnaissance mission was conducted on 15-18 October 1965 by SGM Charles Statst Petry and SFC William Card of Detachment B-53.

Upon assignment in-country, in Dec 1969, SOG personnel were sent to Hon Tray Island for Recondo Training acclimation to the jungle heat, afterwards assigned to their various SOG units. From the SOG unit, special selected individuals who were to run operations were then sent to Long Thanh. The Kham Duc SOG Reconnaissance training camp and school was transferred to Long Thanh -- the Kham Duc camp and school was abandoned due to it's location and enemy activity.

No one could run operations until they completed this select reconnaissance training program as Bert Moore, Senior Medic, B-53 (Jul 69 - Jul 70) stated; "Our training program includes 'real pop-up, shoot-back targets!"

In Continued Memory

Killed en route or while in training with SOG Reconnaissance Training Program as a direct result of enemy action:

18 Oct 65 - Major Harley B. Piles, Crashed in an 0-1 Birdog aircraft with Captain Winfield W. Sisson, USMC (?) Observer flying support for the 1st Recon mission.

18 Oct 65 - CPT Larry Alan Thome, FOB-l, Crashed in the first SOG Recon Mission into Laos along with the Vietnamese pilot, co-pilot, and door gunner.

10 Apr 68 - Killed In Action in an aircraft carrying five FOB 4, Da Nang, SOG soldiers to the SOG?s One Zero Reconnaissance Training program at Kham Duc when it was shot down by enemy fire.

Bryan, Aubrey A. SFC E-7

Cardosa, Crecencio, SFC E-7

Deverall, George N. CPT 0-3

Padgett, Samuel J. SFC E-7

Wilcox, Charles E. SFC B-7


30 Jul 69 - Killed In Action while at the One-Zero Reconnaissance Training Program at Long Thanh:

Walthour, Samuel W. Jr. SP/E4, B-53


22 Jan 71 - Killed In Action while on a Recon Training Mission during the One-Zero Reconnaissance Training Program at Long Thanh. These individuals were engaged by an unexpected enemy which overwhelmed them by number.

Lovelace, Kenneth, SSG E-6, B-53, Instructor

Celano Frank A, SGT E-5 CCC, Kontum, Student

Opperman, Hugh D, SGT B -5, CCC. Kontum, Student.


The photo below is a recon element consisting of individuals from CCC and CCN who had just completed the training program and was to be inserted into an area for operations at the juncture of the Son Bay (sp?) River and Rang Rang Road. This team was inserted directly on top of an underground enemy Vietnamese Transportation unit's headquarters and had to battle their way out in May 1970. Everyone on that Recon team won their Combat Infantryman's Badge during that SOG's Training Recon Mission. Note: The above information was provided courtesy of Mr. Robert Noe, pictured below on the front row, far right.

Click picture to enlarge. Top Row:  L to R:  Lawrence W "Larry" Predmore; Bruce D. Adams; Patrick D "Pat" Lucas; Donald M. "Bucky" Ramsey; Larry Cano.  Bottom Row: Samuel Helland; Robert Noe.  Noe was from CCN, everyone else was from CCC in the picture.

Posted Sep 22, 07 from Marine Corps Times: Maj. Gen. Samuel Helland, has been nominated to take command of I MEF and MarCent and to receive a third star. Helland, 59, is a helicopter pilot by training and is no stranger to ground combat and unconventional warfare: A former Army Special Forces operator, he saw combat in Vietnam with 5th Special Forces Groupís Military Advisory Command (Special Operations Group. For more on Sam, click Samuel Helland's Bio

Early SOG

I have just been looking through this site.  Interesting.  I think I can say as far as being one of the first permanently assigned to SOG in 1964.  I can give you all of the names from the 5th SF.  The Commander was Col Clyde Russell, Logistics was Maj Hanz Manz, NCOIC of Logistics was MSG Linwood E. Pate, SSG James McGlon, O&I in MACVSOG headquarters on Pasture Street and I had what was called House 10.  Was responsible for all of rigging of bundles for the indig teams, all of their equipment and working with them with the airborne training at Camp Long Thanh.  Most of the guys at the camp were from the 1st SF, some TDY, a few PCS at the time.  I was there from 64-65.  SSG Bill Horner was my replacement and he was killed on June 65 at the camp firing a 60 mm mortor.  Round went off just as it left the barrel.  Could tell you quite a few stories about the early days and the problems we had.  Just thought I would drop a few lines about this.  Many do not know about those of us in 64. MAJ Dan Baldwin was suppose to be OIC of House 10 but he spent all of his time with the ARVN Rangers trying to make combat jumps with them.  LTC Karavoric was the Camp Commander, but he spent quite a bit of his time at House 10.  Like working with the teams we were getting ready for insertion.  Well enough of this.  Getting old at 71 and most of the old stories in the past now.  I did spend 68-69 at CCC.  Worked with Bob Howard, Bill DeLima, Bill Hanson, Ralph Rodd, Joe Walker, Allen Farrell, Roy Lamphier, Anthony Dorff, Ethal Duffield, Insane Lasane and a few more I cant remember.  Have lots of pictures from 68-69.
Bill Kendall