The Peters Township Library Foundation in partnership with The Peters Township Public Library has filmed and produced a selection of “Vietnam Memories” to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive and to delve more deeply into the experiences of local Vietnam veterans and the recollections of local residents. Visitors are welcome to watch the Vietnam memories currently playing in our library lobby or with this link to our YouTube Channel. Our intention in providing this brief oral history is to honor those who served by sharing their stories and experiences firsthand to teach younger generations and the general public about this difficult time in our nation’s history. In addition to thanking our guest speakers, we also offer special thanks to Jim McNutt and Diane Lioon for their commitment to making this project a reality. We also wish to thank PTHS Art Teacher, Lauren McCutcheon and the PTHS Art Club student volunteers, Cassie Tomlin, Rebecca Nelson and Kim Mincin for their assistance in painting our bunker scenery.
George Dvorznak – An officer in the US Army in May 1967, George was stationed at the Long Binh Base, which housed the 3rd Ordinance Battalion’s largest ammunition dump in operation at the time. This is his story of the night the ammunition dump exploded.
Ron Worstell – Drafted by the US Army in 1968, Ron was assigned to the Infantry to provide security along the Ho Chi Minh Trail near the Cambodian border. He talks about his experiences with the Vietnamese villagers and how his 18 years of volunteer work at the Vietnam Memorial Wall have helped him overcome his survivor’s guilt.
Jim McNutt – In 1968 Jim McNutt was a US Army news correspondent in Vietnam. He was assigned to cover the action with the 60th Infantry Division’s Mobile Riverine Force as they patrolled the Delta south of Saigon. This is his exciting story of a surprise ambush attack while doing his job.
Jim Puhala – Jim was a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army. On November 8, 1967, he was called to provide fire support for US troops who were under heavy attack by the VC along Highway 1 in Vietnam. Hear his account of his helicopter being shot down and the crew rescued.
Richard Gotch – A MACV Advisor for the US Army in 1966, Richard’s job was to be the liaison between the US Armed forces and the South Vietnamese ARVN troops at the US Fort at Song Be. This is his story of an NVA battalion decimating the ARVN troops as they charged over a mountain into Cambodia.
Peter Bonadio, MD – Dr. Bonadio was assigned to the artillery headquarters near Chu Lai in August of 1969. He made his “rounds” via helicopter to three nearby firebases to inspect facilities and treat soldiers. He also provided first aid to the local villagers, sometimes with surprising results.
Judge Mike McCarthy – In 1970, Mike was a Seabee in the US Navy assigned to the Delta region in Vietnam. This is the story of how his team replaced a section of a footbridge which crossed the river while fellow Navy swift-boats distracted the enemy with firepower.
Patricia Fink – Patti showed her support for the POWs of the Vietnam War by wearing her POW bracelet from 1971-1973. The bracelets were a fundraiser for her mother’s Marine Corp Ladies Auxiliary. She shares stories about the support that the Auxiliary gave to the wounded Vietnam Veterans in Pennsylvania.