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ARTHUR BELMONT OSBORNE III

506 POST ROAD


WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND 02888
HEAD
BODYGUARD
TO
AN NSASPY
I arrived in South Vietnam on September 15, 1966.
I depqrted from South Vietnam on July 13, 1968.
I enlisted in the United States Army on
October 10, 1965, shortly after my 17th birthday. I
because I wanted to fight for my country. I
volunteered for Vietnam.
When I arrived in Qui Nhon, I was assigned to
Co. B, 41
st
signal Battalion. From September 1966, until
November 1966, I worked as a driver and bodyguard
for commander of Company B.
On my first day in Qui Nhon, I was flown by a
Huey pelicopter a little over halfthe way the way to the
top ofVung Chua Mountain. My job was to unload
electrpnic communications equipment, and safeguard it
until squad of soldiers walked down to carry the
equipment back to the top of the 6,000 foot plus
mountain. The top half of the mountain was blanketed
in fog, I was alone and scared, but I did my job. I was
not sqot at and I fired no shots in combat.
In early November, 1966, my life changed
dram<;ltically. One evening, another soldier and I were
. to drive a deuce-and-a-half truck to the u.s. Air
Force base at Phu Cat. We were ordered to load the
truck with bags of cement, and to bring them back to Co.
B.
We drove to Phu Cat and loaded the sacks of
cement and were stopped going out the gate at the Air
Phu Cat base. We were arrested by the Air Force
Police pending court martial for theft of the truck, the
sacks of cement, and all of our weapons. I refused to
talk to the police. We were jailed until the middle ofthe
next qay, when Captain Walter S. Kulbacki,
Commanding Officer of Co. B., 41 st Signal Battalion
drove us to our base. We were out of trouble.
When I got back to Co. B., many people told me
thanks for not talking. U.S. Army Sergeant Major
Marony, who had ordered me to get the bags of cement,
thanked me, as did Captain Kulbacki. Other soldiers
told me that the reason that we were free and out of
trouble, was that another soldier in Company B, an SP4
E-4- enlisted man, David Richard Sanne, had gone into
LieutEtnant Colonel Stringfellow's headquarters and
demapded that the commander of the 41 st Signal
Battalion offer to get me and my partner in crime freed
by trading refrigeration equipment with the U.S. Air
Force general in charge of the Phu Cat Air Base.
Stringfellow refused and Sannes told him that
he had one hour to change his mind and make a deal
with the Air Force general. Sannes told Stringfellow that
if he did not make a deal to free me and the other
soldier, he would kill Stringfellow - and nothing on
earth could save Stringfellow. Sannes then walked out
of the gate into the city of Qui Nhon.
Within twenty minutes after the meeting,
Strin&fellow ordered every vehicle at the base to criss
cross Qui Nhon. The men in the trucks were to scream
contiquously that everything was OK - and Sannes
could come back to the base.
A short time after I got back to Co. B., Sannes
came back to talk to me. My mind was reeling when
SannEjs told me that Stringfellow had ordered the raid
on Phll Cat bags of cement. The purpose was to get
concryte slabs under our soldiers' barracks and

Sannes told me that he was the man in charge of
material and equipment from the ships
unloaping at the mile long pier jutting into the Pacific
virtually next door to our camp at Qui Nhon. Sannes
then told me that he could not reveal who and what he
was - that was a military secret. Before he found me,
that afternoon I had already heard that everyone called
him gyneral and saluted him, when Sannes crossed their
paths.
Sannes then asked me if I wanted to stop being
Captain Kulbacki's driver - and take the job of being his
persopal bodyguard. The American patriot inside me
foolishly said yes. Besides, Kulbacki had sold me out.
For the next year and 4 months, I rode through hell
with ~ a n n e s , as his personal bodyguard. I also was a
memqer of Sannes' 45 man quick reaction force, which
flew and/or rode into places where sensible soldiers
had flrd from.
Mr. Sannes only told me that he had been attached
to the National Security Agency ever since he got out of
basic training - about 40 years after I left Vietnam. Mr.
S a n n ~ s explained to me that the man he worked for,
CW04q Antuna, had been a Navaho Indian Code Talker
sinc'e right after Pearl Harbor- December 7, 1941. Mr.
Sannes said that Mr. Antuna had been attached to the
N.s.A. since the day it was created by a top secret order,
by Pr!j!sident Truman. Mr. Sannes told me that Mr.
Antul)a was the N.S.A.'s chief of Station, for over one half
of the country of South Vietnam since the day he arrived
in Qui Nhon. Mr. Sannes also told me that he had been
appoirted to be the N.S.A.s Deputy Chief of Station
since the day Mr. Antuna arrived in Quin Nhon. Mr.
Sannes told me that he was the N.S.A. Deputy Chief of
Station for the 40,000 square miles ofthe total 67,000
miles of South Vietnam.
Within days of becoming Mr. Sannes' personal
body&uard, I did know that he was responsible for the
safety of over 40 U.S. Army communication centers
about the middle half of South Vietnam.
COMBAT STRESS EVENTS THAT I CAN STILL
RECALL
a. A. rescue of Sgt. Major Alvin Bunch from an angry
mob of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians, who were
inteht upon killing him because Bunch had thrown
a bucket of water at the woman, who we called,
"the little old woman whos c**t was sewn up."
Bunch had intervened to stop this V.c. tortured
spul from using her machete on an old woman who
"Yas selling fish. This was a horror show. The
armed robber had been released from a V.c. prison
- but our u.s. Army did not cut the twine that
srwed her together from front to back. I never saw
1l.S. Army doctors or any other American doctors
treat even one Vietnamese civilian, for anything.
b. I was coming down from the top ofVung Chu
Mountain, where Mr. Sannes was inspecting the
ll.s. Army security units work - which was to guard
the security of the third largest array of
cpmmunication towers in South Vietnam. I was
\Vith Sannes, our driver, SP4, E4 Arthur W.
Trangmar ( 1- 864- 338- 8156) - when from about
4,000 feet up the mountain, we saw three
Vietnamese men, with rifles, running away from
the Qui Nhon Leper Colony. Our quick reaction
force used to have barbecue and beer parties there-
vyhen Sannes could trade for steaks on board the
freighters lined up at the mile long pier. Trangmar,
Sannes and I , screamed, minutes later, when we
SflW Phantom fighter bombers from the Phu Cat Air
~ a s e bomb and straff the leper colony. The
Vietnamese leper colony had been safe for over
300 years. The Phantoms blew the hell out of the
lepers and the leper colony as we stopped,
sFreamed and stared. We never went there again.
c. For over a year, I saw a crazy, naked man
vyandering the "streets" of Qui Nhon, beating his
bloody, filthy chest with a rock in each hand. He
also was an escapee from the v.c. - then finally, he
"Vas dead.
d. O n ~ night, under typhoon conditions, I was ordered
by Mr Antuna to wak up Sannes and bring him to the
U. S. Army Qui Nhon Communication Center, which
w a ~ the third largest classified communication center
in Vietnam. From the panic in Mr. Antuna's
movements and voice, I was crying when I got to
Sannes' bunker and woke him up. Sannes dressed
anq ran barefoot to the "commo" center. When
Sannes came out of the communication center
bUl1ker, we ran together to the bunker that housed
the 45 man quick reaction force. There, Mr. Sannes
shouted to everyone to wake up. When everyone was
standing at attention, Sannes barked out that he
needed three volunteers for a suicide m i s ~ i o n .
Almost all of the men volunteered. Sannes checked
the gear of three (3 ) volunteers and Sannes,
Trangmar, and the three quick reaction force soldiers
and I boarded a couple of jeeps and drove to the
adj9
inin
g air base. Two Huey helicopters and their
five (5) man volunteer crews awaited us. Mr. Sannes
briefed us all. We were headed, in this typhoon, to
the base of the 22
nd
Army ofthe Republic of Vietnam
infantry division. When we got there, the six
(6) of us would repel down ropes, try to find the
"AJ'iGR26" communication center, and use our PRC6
telephones to report back to Mr. Antuna, if
the "ANGR 26" communications center, it's
cryptographic equipment and codes had been
destroyed by the incendiary and high explosive
borpbs set by Mr. Sannes. Sannes briefed us that one
of tpe six (6) of us had to survive to make such a
report, or B-47 and B-52 bombers would have to
asspme that at least one of our KW-35 cryptographic
code machines had been captured intact, and thus
carret bomb the entire base housing ofthe 22
nd
ARyN Infantry Division. All there would have to die.
As I recall, our helicopter gunships were about eight
(8) minutes from our target when one the six (6)
cryptographic code equipment operators called from
his spider hole and reported the complete destruction
oftpe "ANGR 26" air mobile communications center.
I can only hope my two children are pleased about
t h i ~ . Neither Sannes or I had to repel down a rope
from a gunship under fire, in a typhoon, nor did the
othrr soldiers. The two Huey helicopter crews did
not have to be killed.
e. Virtually every day of the approximately 485 days
thaf I served as Mr. Sannes' personal bodyguard, we
flew to and from the approximately 47
communication centers in the approximately 40,000
square miles of I and II Corps Tactical Zones of
central South Vietnam. Sannes had to bring new
codes to every such communication center, every
month. Sannes also carried cryptographic code
mar;:hines to such communication centers on a regular
basis. We regularly flew to communication centers in
Nha Trang, Khe Sanh, Pleiku, Cam Ranh Bay, Phu Cat,
VUl1g Chua, Korean Tiger Division Mang Ho Camp,
Market Time Island, Tuy Hoa, An Khe, Phu Yen, Vung
Ta4, Dak To, Hon Tre Island, Ph an Rang, and many
,
o t h ~ r bases. I can't remember-like the base of the
Korean White Horse Division or the name of the
loc<;ttion of the 22nd Arvin Division HQ. The vast
majority of the flights I took with Mr. Sannes, were on
Huey helicopter gunships that Sannes arranged with
the officers ofthe 92nd Aviation Battalion in Qui Nhon.
But we did make a large number of flights on fixed
wiqg airplanes. Whenever we flew on Huey
helicopter gunships, Mr. Sannes had the door gunners
removed-due to lack of security clearances-and he
and I replaced the door gunners on their machine
guns. Many times we dodged incoming fire and
returned suppressive fire on the enemy soldiers. One
fligpt on a fixed wing airplane 8 small windows were
c r e ~ t e d in about 2 seconds by enemy fire. On
countless helicopter flights, we minimized enemy fire
by flying just above ground. Figuring 47
communication centers to visit at least once a month,
that adds up to 94 flight missions a month, times 16, a
miIlimum of 1,054 flight missions in our 16 months
In jeeps and in % ton trucks, Sannes and I
traveled, outside of American bases, a minimum of 96
just to Vung Chua Mountain, the Mang Ho Base
of tpe Korean Tiger Division, and the Korean White
Horse Infantry Division-whose base I can't
remember the name of. Sannes wore a thermite
firebomb vest, overlain with stitched pockets holding
32 each of clips containing 20 each 7.63 mm bullets.
Sannes always carried homemade "C-4" high
explosive bombs when he carried cryptographic code
ma(:hines. I rode, sat, flew and fought next to him. So
what was the problem?
f. On pne trip from Co. B to the Mang Ho Camp of the
Kor.ean Tiger Division, we lived through a virtual
Mr. Sannes had to go visit the base.
Mo.p.soon rains prevented us from flying-so we
drove in a sheet lightning sky, monsoon rain, thunder
storm world. We were driving on a bulldozed path
thaf separated the jungle from flooded rice paddies-
in an area of flood plane. The path was slippery with
mup, yet we barreled along as Trangmar balanced
speed and wrecking the % ton truck. The path was
bordered on the jungle side, by a fringe of high
elephant grass and young bamboo. It curved-so
that at any given point, one could perhaps only
see 20-50 feet in front of our truck. We were all three
>
tot,,-,"lly aware that we were in deep Indian Country-
and we were on our own until the monsoon storm
abated. Sannes was manning an M60 machine gun, I
have a combination automatic rifle/grenade launcher,
and Trangmar was driving with one hand, and
an M14 in the other hand. Only Sannes knew
why we couldn't wait for the monsoon to pass. The
division codes would have expired at 4:00 pm.
Suddenly, we rounded a corner and saw about 16
doyble file bikes, ridden by North Vietnamese troops,
heading towards us on the same bulldozed path.
Sannes screamed "No" and so we did not open fire.
kept his foot on the gas, the shocked N.V.A.
troops all dived to their right, into the elephant grass;
more N.V.A. and this nightmare scene continued.
Sannes said there were about 130 rows ofthis two
wide line of North Vietnamese troops that went
past us in this fashion. These N.V.A. troops had
kal<jlshnikov automatic rifles across their shoulders
and both hands of the handlebars of their bikes. If we
had, opened fire, I would not be recounting this
incident. The N.v.A. bike column outnumbered us
26Q to 3. Without another incident, we got the Mang
Ho HQ of the Korean Tiger Division. Sannes went into
the communications center, did his thing-then we .
drove back to Qui Nhon, to Company B. The return
was a nightmare, but otherwise without incident.
g. At once a month, Sannes and I had to go to the
Mang Ho HQ ofthe Korean Tiger Division. We either
went there by Huey helicopters or Trangmar drove
us, pepending on the weather. The trail from
Corppany B. to Mang Ho, in the valley, regularly
sported v.c. or N.V.A. heads mounted on sticks. Mang
Ho ~ a m p always had suspected v.c. soldiers, as
Korean prisoners, walking, all holding hands, in a
nightmare circle. It was always a nightmare
formation inside the steel post and concertina wire
fenfe. Why? Because if a sick, wounded or tortured
V.c. prisoner could no longer hold the hand on each
side of him, a prison guard would open fire-and the
surviving soldiers had to hold the hands in another
circle-that included the freshly killed or wounded
Viet Cong prisoners. The v.c. prisoners could not
even drop hands while groveling, for food in a trough,
on the ground.
h. On flnother trip to the Mang Ho base of the Korean
Tiger Division, we had to drive our jeep through a
fierce battle between Korean soldiers and v.c.
soldiers. We were going at the jeep's top speed down
a 1+-15 foot dirt bull dozed trail, when a Korean
soldier fell wounded about 150-200 feet ahead of us.
Trangmar slowed down, Sannes and I grabbed the
wO\lnded Korean soldier, and Trangmar hit the gas
back toward Company B.
l. On flnother trip through this same valley, we ran into
an ynemy ambush on 60-80 or so American soldiers.
were all pinned down in the stinking rice paddy,
which was on the flood plain of a small river that ran
in ll1onsoon seasons. This line of rice paddies ran
,
along the two lane road that the U.S. Army had
grafled next to the area of elephant grass and
bamboo-which bordered the jungle. The jungle was
maybe 100- 150 feet away from the rice paddy where
soldiers were pinned down. Mr. Sannes
used his PRC6 satellite radio to call in bombers. A .
small fixed wing spotter plane coordinated the
borpbing attack on the jungle concealing the V.c. or
N.V.A. soldiers ambushing us. 'Within minutes of the
Sannes conversation with the spotter plane pilot-
twq (2) Phantom fighter bombers from the Phu Cat
Air Base screamed up the valley towards us. Like a
c r a ~ y person, Sannes stood up as the first fighter
bOITlber dived down to near ground leveL right over
our heads. Sannes waved his arms at the first
Ph
9
ntom pilot. The first bomber pilot released his
2,000 pound napalm bomb, directly over our heads .
. T h ~ bomber flew off and the second Phantom
dropped its napalm bomb. The huge fire was the only
thing you could see or hear from the jungle. After a
while, and after Sannes emptied his shorts, we drove
to qur destination and then went back to Co. B. That
event rattled the hell out of us.
j. Sixteen months of hanging out with Mr. Sannes was
cerrainly an adventure. We spent over 80% of our
timr outside of American bases. And I mean over
80% of the time, night and day, for that 16 months. I
barely 18 years old, and had rarely had a bottle
of qeer when I got to Vietnam. By the time I got
dis<;:harged from the U.S. Army, I was an alcoholic-I
am an alcoholic. I scare myself. I have never
picked up a gun since I left Vietnam. I know picking
up gun is something I cannot do.
k. On January 31, 1968, Sannes, Trangmar and I were
sittfng drinking beer, and eating fresh sandwiches
thar Sannes had stolen from the evacuation hospital
on (;mr Company B compound. We were celebrating
by on top of Sannes' bunker-celebrating his
We suddenly saw a huge fire, and heard a
col<;>ssal explosion of a gas storage tank. The tank was
in a huge tank farm by the land end of the mile long
pier jutting out from next to the beach we were
sitttng by. As all three of us, in unison started to slide
off the top of the bunker-the huge oil and gas tank
,
farm disappeared in a round of gigantic explosions.
ThClt was our invitation to the start of the biggest
battle ofthe Vietnam War-the Tet Offensive.
Trangmar disappeared, while Sannes and I ducked
intq his bunker and slipped on our war gear. Sannes
ran out first, spun around, knocked me down and
covered me with his body-as machine gun fire
racl<ed the trench outside his bunker. Sannes went
back to the U.S.A. the next day and I sat behind a M60
mafhine gun at the gate into our compound for the
next three (3) days. After Sannes left for home, I went
to \!York in the personnel department, at Head
QU1rters Co.'s department compound until I left
Vietnam on July 13, 1968. I was discharged from the
ArQ1Y on July 14,1968.
l. I krtew I was mentally and emotionally damaged by
my combat duty in Vietnam, but I never contacted the
V.Ar until November 15, 2010. I only went for help
from the V.A., even then, because of the pestering of
myoid war buddy, David Sannes. When I got back
from Vietnam, until this day, I have been angry that
we Vietnam War Veterans were not, and are not,
hOllored by other Americans for our combat service.
U n ~ i l now, I have never talked about my war to any of
my family, friends, or colleagues. I know that I was
guarding a very important spy, Sannes. I just don't
want to remember my war experiences.
m. I know that once because of monsoon rains, I took
Trangmar's job and drove Mr. Sannes up to our
field and army guard station at the top of
Vung Chua Mountain, a volcanic cone mountain,
about 6,300 feet above sea level. I know that coming
down the one lane, bulldozed road on Vung Chua
mopntain, on that inspection trip, rushing water
coming out of the volcanic rock, at a sand lens,
our jeep off the cliff hugging, one lane road-
at about 5,500-5,700 feet above the flat ground at the
bottom of the mountain. I know that the jeep held up
for few seconds while I leaped out of the jeep on to
the bulldozed path. I know I was shocked, when a
long time later, I heard Sannes' preacher's voice on
that path behind me. Sannes had lept out ofthe jeep
while the jeep frame hung it up for a few seconds-
and he angled his leap to land maybe 15-20 feet
below the road-and he had climbed back up onto
the one lane road.
n. I kl10w that Sannes wore a thermite/high explosive
sui<;:ide vest when we went to our crypto
communication centers, packing IBM cards or code

o. I kllOW I once grabbed Sannes' right arm to stop him
from shooting a U.S. Army nurse, a major, for not
imrpediately treating one of our soldiers that we had
driven through enemy territory, at night, after he had
pleCilded with Sannes to not let him die. I know that
Sannes broke my nose, when I decided not to go out
on ;;l quick reaction force mission. I know I, and
Sannes, guarded each other in a fire fight that night-
anq we were both pretending we were not guarding
. eacfl other. In short, I know that as a part of my job of
guarding Sannes-I went places, saW things, and did
things, in the line of duty, that nobody should do. And
to sum it up, I know that the U.S. Army, the V.A. , and
the American people didn't give a damn about what I
did for my country-Americans figuratively, just spit
on it's Vietnam combat heroes.
p. If apyone wishes to confirm the effects of my time
guarding David R. Sannes, GOOGLE HIS NAME. Please
check my account with:,
"u.s. Joint Services
Enviq:mmental Support Group (ESG)
7798 pssna Road, Suite 101
Va. 22150-3197
Signed,
Arthur Belmont Osborne, III
East Warwick-506 Post Road
Rhode Island, USA 02888
Note:
How 40 you guard a man wearing a suicide vest, on over
1,600 trips, and go back home? DAMAGED!!