281st MP Co. Thailand
281st Military Police Company, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and Sattahip, Thailand (from 1 June 66 to about Oct - Nov 66 training and intransit in CONUS and from sometime in Oct - Nov 66 until 31 Oct 75 at Sattahip Thailand, when the unit was inactivated again).
281st Military Police
Company, Sattahip, Thailand. Official
DA records indicate that on 1 June 1966 the unit was reactivated at Ft.
Campbell, Ky. I have spoken with
Harold F. (Don) Swanson, who was !SG of the unit at time of reactivation, and he
related that the Commanding Officer then was CPT James McCauley. I also spoke with Mr. Lawrence Fraley, who was inducted into the army and was among the group of men
who were shipped from Ft. Campbell to
Sattahip in the fall of 1966. I
have also communicated with Mr. Robert White Jr. and Mr. Harry Parent, who were
stationed at Sattahip at a later time.
Mr. Fraley related that some of the men had received training for
processing Prisoners of War (POW). and that the unit was supposed to have been
assigned to the Republic of Vietnam for POW processing.
The 281st MP Co shipped out aboard a ship named the
“Gaffe” and upon arrival of the ship at the port of Qui Nhon, RVN the
unit wasn’t permitted to disembark. After
four days of waiting aboard ship, the ship was diverted to Sattahip, Thailand,
to perform duty as a Port Security Company.
It was later determined that the US and RVN governments had agreed
that US forces were not to be involved in POW processing and confinement, thus
the reason for reassignment to Sattahip.
The mission of the 281st MP Co. was to operate the army
confinement center, provide port security, provide POL and munitions security
(bombs were received at the port for the missions of the US Airforce B52
bombers, stationed at the Utapao Thai Airforce Base, about six miles away), provide
security to the 9th Logistical Command, patrol Camp Samesan, patrol
the local town and other areas where GI’s would congregate.
The MP’s were unarmed. They
were not permitted to carry sidearms, since they were considered guests of the
Thai government. Upon
conclusion of the conflict in RVN there was no need for continuance of the 281st
MP Company’s mission at Sattahip. Consequently,
the unit was deactivated a second time, on 31 October 1975, in Thailand.