Call Up The Reserves - It was 1968 and President Johnson approved a limited call up of Reserve Military units 24 months or less. It included 25,000 men from all branches. Many or most of the Army units were not combat ready and only a few about 5,000 were sent to Vietnam. One of them, the 231st Transportation Company from St. Petersburg, FL was called in Ready or not we were chosen to get battle ready in 4 months and report to Duty. Little did we know if would be Vietnam Mekong Delta as a logistic Boat Unit. The 231st was staffed by 182 men of worldly experience from 19 to 50 years of age. Combat was not our gig but in the Army’s profound judgment, they figured out a special mission for our Boat Crews. We were to support all the combat troops in the Mekong Delta with material of all sorts including carrying Troops to battleground, Landing Mat, Ammo, Beer, Toilet Paper etc. The War was on for the Fighting 231st.
The first battle was with the Army and Congressional delegation of our State to negate the call up in general. Reason, the unit was not trained in close combat operations. We were a Heavy Boat unit I.E. Tug Boats and Cargo Ships. We lost that battle and proceeded to get ready or not for what the mission was, which only a few knew. Suddenly the unit had been designated LCM Med Boat Unit with 19 LCM8’s (Landing Craft Mechanized). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCM-8
This Reserve call-up was known as the Clark Clifford Experience , Clifford had replaced Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense in 1968 and convinced President Johnson to deny General Westmoreland’s request for an additional 206,000 American troops. So the training began and the main body arrived in late Aug. 1968 in Vung Tau South Vietnam to addapt the LCM's (boats). Plywood Quarters were built for 6 men to a boat, two 50 caliber machine guns and two 30 caliber machine guns plus grenade launchers and personal small arms were installed. Six man crews ( NCO’s) manned the boats and the mission began with a bang. Something like 74 pallets of Budweiser to the 9th Infantry deep in the Delta at Dong Tam. We were instant heroes!
Note: we were informed by Col. Boyd (see below of 50th-year Commemoration of Vietnam War we were not only the first Reserve Unit in Vietnam but of all the reserves call-up only 5,000 served in the war zone. The following links and pages will attempt to put on the record the efforts of this unit and the current situation of its members today. Send any updates please and I will try to post them asap. TJTwitty@gmail.com
My Escape From Cuba One of our Men of the 231st wrote this book.
Oozy's incredible story published and available on Amazon.
New 04/26/15 - Lowell's Movie was discovered by Rod Harris and we have published it on YouTube for your enjoyment. Interesting new images of the mission.
We had to fight a copyright to some of the music but prevailed at least for now. Lowell did a fabulous job and will always be remembered as one of the really nice guys. Click here or Lowell's Photo. ENJOY!
RIP Lowell Thomas 2012
One left but we can order more. - Changed Date from (1965-1971) on Tag.
Mekong Delta Yacht Club License Tags for all troops that served in the Brown Water Navy. Pass The word.
Cameron Design (copyrights pending) Mekong Delta Yacht Club License Tags for your ride. A discrete way of all Delta Vietnam Vets saying, "I was there".
$20.00 each, Plus $5.00 if mailed. Send orders via e-mail to TJTwitty@Gmail.com and pay for them using PayPal link below. Note the company receiving donations is LovedOnes Inc.
LovedOnes has handled all cost to publish CombatVets and 231st Vietnam Websites.
T Shirts for 231st Army Reserves.
Norm Cameron has designed some really great cool looking T's and is collecting orders at this time. Go to this page to inspect and order your shirts. These shirts are Limited Edition one time print and only available to members of the Army 231st Reserves Members and their families. This includes all 231st members that served at any time and any place.
See Larger Images and order form here.. Order blank is obsolete..
April 7th -231st Vietnam Luncheon American Legion
Post 273 Madeira Bch. Click Photo or link below for photos.
We had a great turnout at the Legion and Norm Cameron delivered all pre-sold T-shirts that were done to attendees. Tom Twitty presented the Mekong Delta Yacht Club License Tag sample and took Pre-Orders for 25 units. Happy to say two of the guys allowed their Wife's to attend.
20 of the troops, the best showing of the year. Thanks Tom
Posted Tracy Pressner's Video Conversion of his Super 8 Movie from 1968-69 Tour on the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. A Travel Epic from the man who was there... Link To View Here or See Movies below.
New 2/21/2015 50th Commemoration of the Army Reserve in Vietnam
Dr. Boyd and other VIPs did a fantastic job
presenting the 50th Commemoration event at the Max Stover Army Reserve Center. He presented a Certificate of Appreciation to all attending 231st Army Reserves Boat Unit Members.
I have sent out a high resolution to all members that we have e-mail for and it may be printed for framing.
It was a well done presentation and 15 of our 231st Vietnam Vets present and some with family plus 2 from the 319 Truck Unit out of Augusta GA. The current St. Pete 788th Medical hospital reserve unit was present plus a covey of Army Brass. Our hands were sore from all the Welcome Home Handshakes. Where were all those nurses when we were over in Nam?
It was well done and accepted by attending Vets and Family.
A few still able to put down a beer or two... What We Did Hula Bay 2011
Click Here for photos. The Reserve Unit in Tampa picked us up in a LCM (Mike Boat) ride in Tampa Bay. Was an upgrade to the boats we served on in Vietnam. Changes in power from 4 671 GMC Diesels to 2-V12 GMC Diesels. Much less weight and more power.
Reunion Oct. 13-15
Here larger Pix.
What we did. Friday, Oct. 13th: 2006 Arrival reception around Harry’s
Pool Bar at Sirata Resort. About 31 of the vets showed up for
cocktails and then it was off to Silas Dents for Dinner and more drinks.
The night ended up at Sirata Lobby Lounge whereas about 8 of the
seasoned Vets closed the place down, or almost. . Saturday, Oct. 14th: 10:00 AM
started with a hang-over for some and we spent the day telling lies and
showing the DVD's and slides. Notable DVD' included the Super 8
movies converted by Jim Sanders and Tracy Presser which we were able to
project for all to see. (These images will be available shortly
vis this website) 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM we
boarded the Starlight Princess for our dinner cruise with speaker
George Calder Supervisor of the Florida Dept. of Veterans Affairs at Bay
Pines. Interested facts and pointer were obtained for the benefits
of both Vets and Spouses for now and into the future. Lt. Joe
Vetrano read the list of our departed comrades in arms and we toasted
them in spirit. An outstanding dinner was served and we visited and
listened to the band and did some dancing. Everyone split at 10:00
PM when the boat landed to watch the Gators have a melt down. It was a
great night and the weather was perfect. Sunday, Oct. 15th: Breakfast
at Resort Restaurant. for those that were up and at them.
Goodbye's by all and a promise to get together in a year at Chat A
Ways for lunch and plan a Caribbean Cruise for the 40th
Anniversary of our Call Up. So put it on your calendar now
George Calder gave me his direct e-mail to
his Bay Pines office and is standing by to help with any claims you may
want to submit for Service Connected Disability. Note: Send any pictures that
you want published on our website to me at the e-mail list below.
Also I want to thank all the folks that participated and helped me run
down the troops for this reunion. Special thanks for those that
donated some Cash to make all this happen. Till the Tide Turns. TJTwitty
NEW-- posted 2/19/2015
Sander's Video of the 231st Army Reserves
River War on Vietnam's Mekong Delta Area
New -- Posted 3/06/2015
Tracy Pressners 231sr Army at War
Movie on the Mekong Delta
Movie on YouTube Published from Lowell Thomas movie collection. Interesting new images of the mission. Click on Lowell's Photo. ENJOY!
(If no music, it's been blocked, -but we have disputed the copyright claim) .
Thanks Rod Harris for providing Lowell's Movie. RIP Lowell Thomas on of the great guys.
Hope you enjoy Tom Twitty
Webmaster of 231st Vietnam Vets Site.
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Direct Link to this site is www.CombatVets.net/231st
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