We Gotta Get "To" This Place
Photos by Ray Burris
During my time with the 240th AHC we flew many missions out of the Navy Base at Nha Be. For most of the flight crews in our outfit, Nha Be was known for two things. Since we would be working the area known as the Rung Sat, chances were pretty good that we would make contact with the VC/NVA. The enemy used this area, with its vast network of rivers and canals, to transport personnel and war materials for use against the American and South Vietnamese Forces. There were huge concentrations of the enemy in this area. The other reason we loved Nha Be was for the Navy messhall and the fabulous chow we sometimes were able to eat while flying out of this base. The 240th AHC flight crews loved that Navy chow, as far as I was concerned, it was the best I ever had while in Vietnam. A while back, Ray Burris, an Air Traffic Controller, 2nd Class, US Navy, contacted me and we exchanged emails. His expertise as an Air Traffic Controller guided many Greyhound, Mad Dog and Kennel Keeper crews to safe take off and landings. Ray said he often wondered about the crews of the 240th, where their base was, who were these guys and always wished us well knowing we were making a lot of contact with the enemy. I asked Ray if he would like to contribute some pictures for the website and he readily agreed. As of yet, Ray hasn't found a picture of that famous messhall but he is still looking. Thanks, Ray, for contacting us and for your expertise as an air traffic controller.
Here's Airtraffic Controller, 2nd Class, Ray Burris, Saigon Logistic Support Base, Det Nha Be, Helo Pad, US Navy. Ray and his unit gave primary support to HAL 3, The Seawolves, Huey B Model Gunships of the Navy, which were responsible for the safety of shipping from the Rung Sat area up to Saigon. Ray guided many a 240th chopper, as well as many helicopters from other units, for safe take off and landings.
Here's Ray's view from his control tower at Nha Be.
That sure is a familiar sight to the air crews of the 240th AHC.
Here's "The Box" at Nha Be, a gun postion which provided securtiy at the base.
Here's the Ruff Puffs coming back with a few battle souvenirs, VC and NVA flags.