John Schaetzel -- Survey -- Jan/1968-Jan/1969

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John Schaetzel -- Survey -- Jan/1968-Jan/1969

Post by admin » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:51 pm

On 2003-06-08 at 20:33:19,
The following information was submitted:
From Host:
LAST_NAME = Schaetzel
submit_by =
TIME = Jan/1968-Jan/1969
PLATOON = Survey
Nam_Rank = E-4
Final_Rank = SP-5
ACTUALLY_DID = Member of Survey Platoon collecting data for Map developement
HOMETOWN = Germantown, Wisconsin
MOS = Combat Engineer/Topo Survey Instructor
ETS = Jan. 69
BIRTH_DATE = June 15, 1946
LIVE_NOW = Germantown, Wisconsin
PROFESSION = Sales -Campbell Soup Comp
CONTACT_PHONE = 1-262-502-9372
EXPERIENCE = Prior to my arrival in Vietnam I was a TopoGraphic Survey Instructor at Ft. Belvoir, Va. When arriving at the 569th I was pleased to be reunited with a number of individuals such as Jim Hipsher who also had previously been stationed at Ft. Belvior also a number of fellows which had been passed students at the Topo Course at Ft. Belvior. It was a bit like old
home week seeing some familiar faces.

A number of the guys in the Survey Platoon that I remember well because of the work and screwing around we did together were the following individuals: Frank Stefanone, Jim Michelucci, Mike Crapnell, John B. Canada, John Cannella, Donald Page, Al Ruffo, Dick Kloss, Bill Gwin, Joe Williams, Sgt. Gisch, Ken Monsees--these are some of the guys & names hopefully others can remember as well. Possibly the first week or so after I arrived at the 569th a party was held at the beach at Nha Trang-beer, steaks, other good food-Hell this wasn't so bad. It wasn't but a few days or so later that the US forces were involved in the TET Offensive which affected many members of the 569th particularly the survey platoon who had guys in places like Pleiku, Dong Ha --Frank Stefanone & a few other of us guys can attest to that as we almost had our ass shot while in Dong Ha. Being part of the survey platoon also gave us the opportunity to travel fairly freely at times while in Vietnam. I can remember two instances when I was with other members of the survey platoon working for about one month in the Pleiku area staying with the 4th Division at a place called Camp Enari. Once I was able to obtain a jeep & travel to some nearby encampment being able to look-up an old friend-George Kohl- from back home stationed with the Army. Here he was sleeping in his bunk, having been on guard duty and I woke his butt up surprizing the hell out of him. It wasn't but two months ago, this past May, 2003, that this fellows brother one of my old best friends died of cancer.

How about the time a number of us survey guys were on TDY to Qui Nhon -staying with another Army company, it was pay day and the Company Commander had at least two truckloads of Vietnamese women-brought into the company area for recreation-if you know what I mean that night. Here were guys and women showering together -probably cold water if I remember right, later to be screwing in the bunk next to you with the privacy of a mosquito net & that's all folks. What memories.

Who remembers being TDY in an area called Phan Thiet, being attacked by VC thank heavens for the pilots in the Huey's with their rockets , gattling guns and all saving our poor asses. Let's face it guys we were surveyors not hardened infantrymen. Yet, some of the calmer locations we were able to visit were islands off the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea -beautiful sea coasts, fish, small deer, ocassionally snakes (some of which we shot with our rifles). At times we worked at night at these locations shooting the stars for location/triangulation --beautiful star filled skies, peaceful in a war zone.After those nights sometimes we would have daylight hours to explore these islands-not unlike the islands today many of us spend many dollars to visit and escape our colder winter weather, islands without the developement which we see in the Carribean.

How many beers, joints , hookaa's & more did many of us partake in when over in Vietnam. Do you guys remember , John Cannella -Baltimore, MD. , a short guy, dark hair, mustache, liked the weed -probably John had the only pscychedelic steel pot-all decorated with colorful chalk, bright colors in
Vietnam. Jim Hipsher-my old friend-Jim was drafted at about age 25 or so-from Alaska-a engineer working for the Customs Dept. as I recall. Jim was a story teller who I got to know while at Ft. Belvior. Here we both ended up at the 569th in Vietnam. Has anyone heard about Jim ?? I believe he may have married a girl from Jersy named Sarah someone he met through a mutual friend of ours from Newark named Pete Tilken US Army Ft. Belvior-while in Nam he talked about her alot so I think they may have gotten together. Another good friend John Canada and I ocassionally played chess while in Vietnam-isn't that quite a way to escape what was happening around us. John & I quite often found ourselves on TDY together working many different areas of Vietnam. John & I traveled to Japan for R&R to see the world but the best part for me was the Japanese women which we partook of while in Japan--just a couple of regular GI's. John & I have kept in touch via letters, e-mail, phone during the past 35 years having visited each other twice.


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