Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome/service connection


Steve wrote at 2011-04-05 03:30:19
I served alongside the 20th Preventative Medicine in Cam ranh in 1972.  My name is Stephen J. Spencer and was a part of the U.S. Army Postal Unit that was adjacent to the 510th Signal Company attacked in April 1972 and the subsequent VC attack on the ammo dump there later.  I'm not sure if Steve Brumgard will read this, but I know what the 20th Preventative Med was experiencing.

One of them may have bandaged me up after the ammo dump exploded.  I'm not sure. Not much memory of this except that I walked from my building to the outside and saw a huge mushroom cloud going up with no sound. Everyone else hit the ground, but I saw a bunker and tried to get cover in that. The the sound hit kind of like a sonic boom except I felt like someone hit me in the middle of the back at the same time.  I was propelled forward in my run, tripped and hit a steel or aluminum drum near the bunker.  When I got up, my head was already bandaged. A few guys had me walk around, and I felt okay.  Not much blood, the cut was on my scalp and I had more of a bump there, but felt nauseous.  Later the next day, I removed the bandage from my scalp, it seemed to be a small cut with a large bump.  I combed my hair over it.  Later, someone dropped off a small package at my cage at the post office addressed to me, and opening it, was a Purple Heart.  I wore this in the States for three weeks before discovering there was no record on file of a Purple Heart for me.  I thought a medic had dropped that off and for some reason, I thought it was official.  Perhaps one of the guys there, instead.  I'll never know.  Without orders, I took it off never to wear it again.  There was no record of my injury and most don't believe an ammo dump exploded in 1972 in Cam Ranh or near it.  

Many don't believe there was a sapper attack on April 9th, 1972, on Cam Ranh Bay where four were killed and even more were wounded.  (I was in the middle of that but completely unharmed.)

If Steve wants to contact me, my name is Steve, as well.  

I suppose lots of guys received injuries in Vietnam and they never spoke about them much.  I thought I'd let this one go.  The only thing I can say is, I should have ducked like everyone else.  To this day I have problems remembering some of the events and people there.  

As I said, I know what Steve experienced.  I can vouch for him.  Steve, if you ever get this, email me, and if I can help you in any way, let me know.

Steve wrote at 2011-04-05 03:33:29
Update:  I just posted a message that referred to Steve Brungard.  It was meant for "Robert".  Sorry, Robert.  Email me if you ever get this.  Steve, can you edit my message to refer to Robert?


Larry wrote at 2011-12-25 04:59:40
I was in the 510th signal company that night when it got hit.  I do know that a dump of some kind was hit (I thought it was a feul dump at the airfield).  Four platoon mates of mine was killed that night with others wounded.

Frank Cardwell wrote at 2012-05-11 01:04:13
I was at the 510th Sig Co in Cam Rahn in '72. I was a Spec 5 asst. mess sgt. If I remember correctly it was April 1st, early morning when we were basicly over ran by RVN ranger types that threw explosive devices in the hooches and gunned down our guys as they headed for the bunkers. My hooch got slammed with a one and three pound devices and knocked me for a loop. My ears didn't stop ringing for about two weeks, and of course my hearing suffers to this day. I do remember that something big went off down at the bay, but I didn't hear it!!

 We lost five American Solders that morning in the 510th Sig Co.

robert cox wrote at 2014-02-16 06:43:03
Steve, Larry and Frank please send me an email. It would be good to talk to a brother that was there that night. My email is marinekid53@yahoo. com.  Thanks guys, for too many years it felt like i was the only one that remembered it

t wrote at 2014-05-27 23:49:08
was processing out that night. got between the hooch and the barrels. sappers hit the hooch and some earth shaking explosions occurred nearby.  felt like it had to be an ammo dump or fuel storage. 3 days later was at ohare airport.  never saw much record of any of this but know it took place 4sure

Harry L. Smith wrote at 2014-07-19 20:34:24
I was at cam ranh bay with the 21st s&s company 1971 - 1972. About three weeks before coming home our compound was hit by sappers. I had heard that three individuals were killed, but never heard anything official in any news story or news reports. It may have been during the April timeframe mentioned. We were next to the post office operations and I remember a helipad there. We were at the top of the hill overlooking the px.

My company was responsible for potable water, the milk and ice cream plant and I worked with perishables and canned goods under Lt. Michael J. feeney.

Please let me know if this rings a bell as I never could verify this event  

mick wrote at 2014-12-21 21:31:22
i was there the night of the attack, april 9th, around 1 am, i was with the 557th light maintence,  camrahn got hit in march,71 and again in april 72

Wayne Jacobs wrote at 2015-01-07 20:22:40
I was with the 510th Signal Company from January 1971 - August 1971.  I remember getting hit several times during that time and right after I left, the ammo ship in the bay was blown up.  It had been parked in the middle of the bay for over 5 years with never an incident with it.  In late August 1971, a rocket was put down the smoke stack and blew it completely up.  i remember the fuel depot going up on the Air Base in March 1971.  

TIMMYEB wrote at 2015-01-30 18:31:49
I was assigned to 510th Signal Company (Commcenter) Nov 70 - Nov 72

and knew two of the KIA very well.  I would like to hear more about the attack that resulted in their deaths.  My e-mail is Most of the guys there knew that it would eventually be hit, due to the nonexistent security in and around the company area.

Jim McCreary wrote at 2015-03-22 19:50:56
Harry Smith; I too was at the 21 S&S.  The night of the sapper attack, (not sure of the date, possibly April 1972) I was at the 21 S&S motor pool.  So, I was not at the 21st hooches.  What I remember was, explosions and gunfire, not sure how far that would have been from the motor pool where I was. I also remember, bullets whizzing by my head. I don't know where the shots were coming from.  Seems after the bullets whizzed past me the firing stopped.  Once I got back to the 21 S&S hooches, after dawn, I heard approx. 5 guys were KIA including a 17 year old.  Later that day, I did see some of the damaged hooches, caused by the zappers, which were not far from my hooch.

Sunshine wrote at 2015-05-12 17:25:15
My Uncle Jerry Dee Laws 510th Sig Co. 29th Sig Grp 73rd Sig Bn was one of the 4 KIA that dreadful day April 9, 1972 at Cam Ranh Bay, He was only 22. If anyone knew him or has pictures or stories they would like to share, I would be most grateful.  

Lorraine wrote at 2015-10-31 21:19:10
I was a senior in high school ready to graduate and looking forward to my oldest brother, James Michael Barry returning in 21 more days.  My Mom had dreams and premonitions all week that my brother would not make it.  Sat night it her worst fears showed the damage at Cam Rahn Bay.  April 9, 1972 my brother was killed. If any one was there and knew him please let me know.  It was a tremendous loss and I can appreciate a difficult time for all of you.

Thank you,


TIMMYEB wrote at 2015-11-04 16:37:03
Hi Lorraine,

I knew your brother when I was stationed at the 510th Signal Company in Cam Ranh Bay.  We went to the beach together on a few

occasions.  We were on the same shift at the communications center.  When your father passed-away, I was the person that received and processed the Red Cross notification.  I left

Viet Nam while your brother was home on emergency leave.  If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me @

Scotty wrote at 2016-05-29 23:12:21
I was assigned to the 510th Signal Company and was there during the sapper attack on April 9th, 1972.  I knew all four of the men who were killed that night.  Many more were wounded.  At the very least, Daniel Kushner, Joseph Szekely, Jerry Laws, and James Barry should all be remembered during this memorial day.  

Lorraine Barry wrote at 2017-02-27 21:08:10
Hi Timmy,

I am just seeing your response.  Both my Mom and Dad were alive when my brother James Michael Barry age 21 was killed at Cam Rahn Bay 4/9/1972.  Both my parents died many years later.  So I am not sure it is my brother you are referring to.  If any one else has any information I would greatly appreciate it.  

Thank you,


Lorraine Barry wrote at 2017-02-27 21:10:58
Hi Scotty,

Thank you for recognizing personally the 4 men (including my brother) killed at Camh Ranh Bay 4/9/72.  

Lorraine Barry

Mark E Lundgreen wrote at 2017-04-20 06:41:46
Hello Steve. For those that didn't realize there was an attack on Cam Ranh on the date stated I can attest to the fact that there was a massive explosion. I was in Nha Trang out by the airfield that night and it was the biggest explosion I've ever seen. It lit Nha Trang like daylight!! I saw the teletype report immediately after and got the bad news the next day. It was part of what became called the Easter Offensive. We got mortared and rocketed after that. God bless my fellow soldiers that perished that night.  

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Steve Brungard


After five years of training focused on post trauma and related issues, I did more than collect a few diplomas; I graduated from victim to survivor. It is that personal immersion and accomplishment that brings me to and provides you with an ally.


I hold an associates degree in social science, [Harrisburg Area Community College] and a bachelors degree in social science along with a counselor training certificate in chemical dependency [Penn State University]. I also hold a commission as a Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Army [honorably discharged] and the best training ever given to any helicopter pilot on earth. It was with that commission and training that I served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia from 1968 to 1970 where I saw much of what happens when a human society disintegrates and human beings are overwhelmed.

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