Introduction

 C.M.A.C. (Capital Military Assistance Command) was hastily created in an attempt to halt the thirteen or so regular NVA regiments from capturing Saigon during the festival of Tet in 1968. See brief history at: www.saigonwarrior.com/CMAC_History_new.htm

 There are many who would refer to the halting of Viet Cong and NVA forces as a victory. However the mere existence of C.M.A.C. is evidence that the US and ARVN forces were not properly prepared (maybe we didn't learn from experience - see  link Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region).  It was believed that the 716th MP Battalion and a company of Marines guarding the American Embassy held the city until the ‘heavies’ arrived.

 C.M.A.C. was an Army level command. However, it was different. It was created to be a coordinating command utilising portions of operational units, e.g. 9th Division, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, 82nd Airborne and ARVN units like the 6th ARVN, etc. In that respect, it was top heavy with officers. The only section with a significant contingent of immediately available enlisted men was the Signal Section as C.M.A.C. relied heavily on communications to fulfil their mission. Hence, the Signal Section became involved in just about all activities that required any manpower.

 The Environment

 C.M.A.C. was set-up in an old French Foreign Legion compound by the name of Camp Le Van Duyet. See this link for a tour.

See links for a sketch of the Camp Le Van Duyet as it was and is today.

Other images topics may be viewed in the following link.

The Story

 C.M.A.C. - Saga of a Saigon Warrior is about one year in the life of the lowest ranking officer in the Signal Section and perhaps the command as a whole, Lt. Callaghan. The series draws heavily from the C.M.A.C, Saga of a Saigon Warrior section of the C.M.A.C, A Vietnam Era Trilogy and is enhanced by excerpts where appropriate from the SMAC, Saga of a Student Warrior section of the same novel.

While most of the dialogue may seem hard to believe, it is real life fiction, based upon events that took place at C.M.A.C. between March of 1969 through March of 1970. However, any resemblance to individuals living or dead is purely coincidental.

 The Structure

 C.M.A.C. - Saga of a Saigon Warrior is a Dramatic TV SitCom  containing the latest versions of the following Episodes:

Episode 1 – Enter the Monkey

Episode 2 – Demise of the Nhan Vi

Episode 3 – Swamp Man

Episode 4 - Hemorrhoids

Episode 5 - The Fatted Calf

Episode 6 - The Warrior's Return

Episode 7 - Propagation

Episode 8 - Visitors

Episode 9 - Ghost Tape

Episode 10 - Exit the Monkey

The Characters

 The characters in C.M.A.C. are, with few exceptions, fashioned after personnel who were assigned to CMAC in 1969-70.

 The human and animal characters, with a short description, are listed here in order of their appearance, by episode.

Character Description
   
Episode 1  
Lt. James Callaghan CMAC Radio Officer from 1969-1970. The name Callaghan was taken from a Major Callaghan who was assigned to the CMAC Signal Section at that time. Lt. Callaghan, a native of California, graduated from college and enlisted on St. Patrick's Day to become an Army Signal Officer.  

Alternate description - oldest Lieutenant in the Army tangles with the oldest BG in the Army.

   
Cpl. Rosenburg CMAC Signal Section driver, previously a New York City taxi driver, favoured by the Signal Section Staff for his ability to manoeuvre through tight and dangerous situations without a scratch. His methods however were unconventional.
   
Main Gate MP One of the Vietnamese Army Military Police (MP) who guarded the main gate to the Le Van Duyet military compound.
   
MP1 & MP2 US MPs who were assigned to guard a very sensitive and top secret, fence enclosed, bunker. The bunker whose real designation was the SCIF facility was also known as the the Top Secret Bunker or more commonly, the Duck Bunker. (See next entry)
   
CMAC Ducks The name was attributed to two ducks named Horatio and Hortence which had alerted defenders of the Ben Loc bridge that an enemy attack was taking place. Thanks to the ducks the attack was thwarted. General Mearns had them captured  and put on duty as guards for the Duck Bunker.
   
CMAC Monkey An orphaned baby monkey was found on a routine inspection of the Binh Dinh bridge and brought back to the compound by the then Engineering Colonel. The monkey was a constant source of humour and antics which caused the Duck Bunker guards a lot of hassle.
   
LTC Grimes CMAC Signal Officer. A generally good natured individual plagued with the fetishes of his second in command, Major Dingby.
   
Maj. Dingby Assistant Signal Officer (affectionately referred to as ASO). An extremely detailed person with very little to do. He prided himself in his measurement of the amount of toothpaste in his toothpaste tube proving that he had just enough to last the balance of his assignment. However, this was second only to his measurements of his bar of soap where he had calculated that he had to use less, otherwise he would run out a month early. One of Callaghan's nemesis'. 
   
Col. Sharp CMAC Chief of Staff. As his name implies, a pretty sharp, and very fair, individual who helped save Lt. Callaghan's rear end on numerous occasions.
   
BG Gottard CMAC Commanding General - A hard working, hard drinking, hard swearing commander whose wish was to die in battle. The oldest Brigadier in the Army, whose mannerisms and stature were much like the cartoon character 'Yosemite Sam'. One of Callaghan's nemesis'.
   
Helicopter Pilot One of many who ferried Lt. Callaghan around Saigon City, the districts surrounding the city, other commands and artillery bases.
   
Maj. Schwartz Commanding Officer of the one of the 364th Artillery's fire bases in the Pineapple.
   
SFC Henderson Sergeant in Charge of one of the 364th Artillery's fire bases in the Pineapple.
   
Signal Section Radio Operator One of several radio operators in the CMAC Signal Section
   
Spec5 Dudley Signal Section Radio Operator who outshined all his peers with his antics and get away with them. Botha  help and a hindrance to Callaghan.
   
Capt. Dennison ARVN Advisor for the Signal Section. Keeps a low profile, good natured, always joking and laughing.
   
SFC Holstein The senior NCO in the Signal section. Office in the Radio Room where his massive body could keep cool with the air conditioning. Last tour in the Army before retirement. Always kept a low profile.
   
Medics Third Field Hospital medics who helped Callaghan with wounded.
   
Lt. Callighan Callaghan and she had a previous misunderstanding at Bien Hoa when she thought he referred to her rear end, a love-hate relationship
   
Clerk Signal Section Clerk
   
Col. Haggard Commanding Officer of the 716th MP Battalion.
   
Episode 2  
   
SFC Mitchell Nhan Vi BOQ Sergeant in charge and a hassle to Callaghan
   
Lt. Kim Callaghan's Korean room mate at the Nhan Vi
   
Maj. Atkinson G2 interrogator
   
Lt. Steele One of the 'Core Group' - a group of guys that stayed together from Basic Training through Signal School. Callaghan was one of the group. Steele was assigned to the 716th MP Battalion as Radio Officer.
   
Episode 3  
   
Maj. Ainsworthy Assigned to the Engineering  Section and creator of the Bridge Inspection protocol.
   
Lt. Hanes Commanding Officer of the Explosive Ordinance Detail in Saigon 
   
Bill Fisher Head of US Embassy Security and good friend of one of Callaghan's cousins and therefore Callaghan
   
MP3 MP at Frontier Barrier in Saigon.
   
Col. Peabody CMAC Tactical Operations Center (TOC) Duty Officer
   
Yvonne Lt. Steele's girlfriend
   
Li Yvonne's sister
   
Passing MPs MPs checking on catastrophe caused by Callaghan and Steele
   
Episode 4  
   
Cpt. Barnes Doctor at 17th Field Hospital who operates on Callaghan
   
Nurse Bitchem Admissions Nurse at 17th Field Hospital
   
Male Nurse 1 & 2 Male nurses in attendance while Capt. Barnes performs surgery.
   
Cpt. Paisley Assists Cpt. Barnes with Callaghan's surgery.
   
Nurse Helga Post surgery support for Capt. Barnes
   
Shop Assistant Rosenburg's attacker during the ambush
   
Col. Taggert TOC Duty Officer
   
Lt. Spencer Callaghan's room mate at the Meyerkord BOQ
   
Meyerkord BOQ Sergeant Meyerkord BOQ Sergeant in Charge
   
Lt. Snade One of the 'Core Group' - a group of guys that stayed together from Basic Training through Signal School.
   
Episode 5  
   
Bookie Turf Accountant at Phu To Race Track
   
Presenting Captain Primary presenter at the Command General Staff Briefing
   
George Miller Bill Fisher's work companion
   
Rat Bill Fisher's work companion - reputed to be a top notch safe cracker
   
Randy Harris Decorator extraordinaire
   
AFVN Receptionist AFVN Receptionist
   
PFC Jones Charged with wiring the new General's Mess.
   
CMAC Medic Medic on standby at CMAC
   
Episode 6  
   
LTC Venetti CMAC Signal Officer replacing LTC Grimes
   
Lt. Combs General's Mess Officer
   
TOC Corporal Manages Incident Board
   
COL. Pendergrass TOC Duty Officer
   
Spec 5 Ketruce Radio Operator
   
Air Colonel Air Colonel
   
CWO Biggs Officer in charge - Communications Center
   
Sue Casual acquaintance at BRAGs villa
   
Episode 7  
   
G5 Clerk Clerk in the G5 office
   
COL Lawrence G5 - Psychological Operations
   
Maj. Lamson Chief of Go Dau Ha Advisors
   
Phil Jones Secret Service
   
Bill Hopkins Secret Service
   
SFC Cox Scrounger extraordinaire and head of the High Frequency Vans
   
Episode 8  
   
Receptionist Meyerkord receptionist
   
Carol Smith Old flame of Callaghan's and World Airways Flight Attendant
   
Veronica, Pam, Jamey Colleague's of Carol Smith and World Airways Flight Attendants
   
Maj. Hill G5 Operations
   
Episode 9  
   
Lt. Julius Money Exchange Officer
   
CPT Nguyen ARVN Electricity complaint
   
Episode 10  
   
Duty Sergeant Walling BEQ Flash Tower
   
LTG Harkness CMAC Commanding General and BG Gottard's replacement
   
Lt. Burns Navy Briefer
   
TOC Sergeant Incident reporting
   
Lieutenant Microwave Rig Owner

 

The Creator

 C.M.A.C. A Vietnam Era Trilogy was written  by James. J. Finnegan and is the author of this series.  His contact details are as follows:

James J. Finnegan

email: JJJF@SaigonWarrior.com

 The C.M.A.C. website is: www.SaigonWarrior.com

Enjoy!