~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association Vietnam History Project ~
Thu Duc Detachment
"The Alamo"
This Page Was Last Updated      7 March 2012
Canh Sat
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This Page Was Last Updated      7 March 2012
Note: It is unknown when the nickname of The Alamo was first given to the detachment. If you can provide any information, please use the Email Link above.
1st Field.
89th MP
716th MP

   Thu Duc was located between Long Binh Post and The Newport Bridge on Highway-1A, Gia Dinh Province, III Corps Tactical Zone. The center of the Thu Duc intersection Highway 1A and 359 was the Tu Duct District Vietnamese National Police (Canh Sat) HQ building nicknamed the "Alamo" by MPs that later lived and worked there. Also located within the building was the ARVN 15th Military Intelligence (Counterintelligence) Detachment.

   The first information developed on the intersection was a reference by members of the 615th MP Company in 1966, at that time attached subordinate to the 1st Field Forces, 89th MP Group, 716th MP Battalion (Saigon). They provided a two jeep detachment consisting of a sergeant and three to four enlisted MPs armed with the standard .45 cal pistol and shotguns.

   The daytime checkpoint at the outpost located at the intersection was assigned for interdiction and roadway security for convoys and other unattached military traffic traveling between Bien Hoa and Saigon.

   The new Long Binh Post complex at that time was in the late planning stages. The checkpoint was withdrawn before night fall because the area was still unsecured and subject to Viet Cong control.

September As Long Binh Post was being developed, the 615th remained subordinate to the 716th who then came under command and control of the newly arrived 18th MP Brigade (Saigon).

18th MP
Miscellaneous Photographs

   No further reference to detachment duty at the intersection was found with the move of the 615th to Long Binh Post subordinate to the 720th MP Battalion.

   The intersection was used as a checkpoint for Operation OVERTAKE convoy escorts that started this year. 

720th MP
10 February The 615th MP Company was detached from the 720th MP Battalion and reassigned to the 95th MP Battalion (Long Binh Post). Its duties changed from primarily direct combat support to more traditional military police functions of combat service. Although the exact date is unknown they eventually became responsible for the detachment at the Thu Duc National Police Station.
95th MP
     The Thu Duc Detachment conducted traffic control and highway day and night time recon patrols from the  Newport Bridge to Long Binh Post. Because of the dusk to dawn curfew the patrols often escorted vehicles back and forth from Long Binh and Saigon. When not escorting vehicles, they were assigned to roving highway security until sunrise. The night patrols consisted of two gun-jeeps armed with M-60 machine guns, M-79 Grenade Launchers and small arms. All crew members wore flack vests and steel helmets. Each jeep consisted of two MPs and one Quan Canh or Canh Sat. The night patrols were often harassed by enemy small arms fire and ambush.

     The daytime patrols consisted of two jeeps, each with a three man crew.  Each jeep patrolled separately from the other.  Each jeep contained one or two MPs, and either one Quan Canh or Canh Sat, or one of each depending on staffing availability.  Daytime patrols did not carry machine guns.  Each jeep was assigned an M-79 Grenade Launcher and each MP a 45cal sidearm and M-16 rifle.  Helmets and flak vests were carried in the jeep. The primary day time highway patrol area was between Newport Bridge and Long Binh, however, they  also patrolled villages along the highway, Thu Duc, Cogido and Tam Hiep.

     There were approximately eight to ten MPs assigned to the Thu Duc Detachment at a time.  The ranking NCO was either a sergeant or staff sergeant.  On both day and night patrols, there was one MP assigned to man the radio inside the Thu Duc HQ.  The radio operator maintained constant contact with the patrols.  The purpose was to have a liaison to call in a reaction force, or helicopter light fire team from Bien Hoa Airbase when necessary.
20 September, 1200 hours Seven miles from Saigon near the city of Thu Duc, SGT George H. Ross and PFC Daniel M. Ferrara of the 615th MP Company, 95th MP Battalion, were on a combined patrol with their Vietnamese counterparts when they stopped a stolen Vietnamese taxi cab occupied by four U.S. soldiers who were AWOL, armed, and wanted for robbery.
Radio Room
Water Plant
Rear of Station
Front of Station
Mascot "GI"
Patrol Car
Miscellaneous Photographs
 The ambualnce jeeps.
14 October PFC Novosad, his partner, both members of the 615th MP Company, 95th MP Battalion, accompanied by a Vietnamese National Policeman, were on a joint highway patrol when they were flagged down by a civilian and directed to the nearby University Village. They discovered a male child unconscious from a swimming incident, and that their radio would not transmit. They did what most MP's would do in an emergency, stayed calm and improvised! A small lifeless young boy   Reflections of SGT William H. “Bill” Novosad, 615th MP Company, 95th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, July 1969 to September 1970.
Miscellaneous Photographs
Miscellaneous Photographs
Miscellaneous Photographs
Miscellaneous Photographs
< Click on the thumb nail photograph for an enlargement of a 2007 satellite photograph of the former Thu Duc Intersection and police headquarters building, "The Alamo."
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