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Ray Miller in Vietnam (1966)


Sound | 1966

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  •  Lieutenant commander Charles Rogers on his patrol of the Mekong Delta 
  •  "VC” refers to the Viet Cong, also known as the National Liberation Front, which fought against the United States and its allies during the Vietnam War 
  •  “Charlie” was another name used by American troops for the Viet Cong specifically or communist forces in general. It is short for “Victor Charlie,” which is “VC” in the NATO phonetic alphabet.  
  •  Airman Dale E. Sidwell, a member of the US Air Force K-9 Corps, recounts his experience during an assault of Ton San Nhut Air Base in Ho Chi Minh City. In the early morning hours of December 4, 1966, Viet Cong forces launched a sapper and mortar attack on the base hoping to penetrate the defense perimeter and destroy parked aircraft. Sidwell—and his canine partner Toby—was posted as a sentry. The Freeport native received the Air Force Commendation Medal for his courageous actions during the assault in 1967.  
  •  Lieutenant Chuck Eddy, advisor to the Vietnamese Republic of Vietnam Navy, on his decision to volunteer for a second tour. A junk is a kind of ancient Chinese sailing ship. 
  •  Santa visits the troops 
  •  Mail call 
  •  On the site of the new American embassy in Ho Chi Minh City. Following a car bombing outside the first embassy on March 30, 1965, the United States decided to construct a new, larger embassy compound with greater protection. The second embassy opened on September 29, 1967. 
  •  Outside Independence Palace, home and office to General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, the president of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1975. A North Vietnamese tank bulldozed through the palace’s main gate on April 30, 1975, effectively ending the Vietnam War. The building was subsequently renamed Reunification Palace. 
  •  KPRC news director Ray Miller ferries Christmas greetings from Houstonians to troops serving in Vietnam 
  •  Private Danton Lorch tells of being shot down a month into his tour 
  •  Aboard an aircraft carrier 
  •  Independence Palace 
  •  Major Andrew McVeigh of the 1st Battalion, 21st Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, explains how an artillery raid works. The unit participated in 15 campaigns during the Vietnam War. 
  •  Ho Chi Minh City 
  •  The Hotel Majestic is a historic hotel originally built in 1925 by Chinese businessman Hui Bon Hoa 
  •  American troops comment on a recent conflict, possibly the attack on Ton San Nhut Air Base, and the subsequent search for participating Viet Cong forces 
  •  “NVA” refers to the North Vietnamese Army, also known as the People’s Army of Vietnam or the Vietnamese People’s Army 
  •  Sailors read and exchange cards from Houstonians brought by Miller 
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  • About the video
  • Ray Miller Ray Miller
  • Frank Dobbs Frank Dobbs
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In this unedited footage for Houston’s KPRC-TV, news director Ray Miller reports from South Vietnam in December 1966. Miller—accompanied by KPRC cameraman Frank Dobbs—observes US military operations across the region and explores Ho Chi Minh City (then known as Saigon). Along the way, Miller speaks with American soldiers, many from Texas, about their experiences serving in the Vietnam War. Visiting in December, Miller delivers Christmas messages written by Houstonians for the troops.
Newsman Ray Miller (1919 - 2008) began his broadcasting career in 1938 in his home town of Fort Worth. He relocated to Houston soon thereafter, where he joined KPRC Radio. When KPRC purchased Houston’s first television station in 1951, Miller adopted the burgeoning medium, eventually winning a Peabody Award. In 1969, Miller created The Eyes of Texas, a regional television series examining all things Texas. On the air for 30 years, the series became Houston’s longest-running local television program. Miller retired in 1979, serving as news director at both KPRC Radio and KPRC-TV for over 40 years. During his decades-long tenure at KPRC, Miller mentored a number of journalists, including Dan Rather and former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
After retiring from television production, Miller became a local historian, writing several books and travel guides about historic attractions in Houston and Galveston. He also worked with the Harris County Historical Commission to secure markers for numerous sites. 
A native Houstonian, Frank Q. Dobbs (1939 - 2006) began his lifelong career in filmmaking as a cameraman for KPRC-TV. Eventually serving as director of the Channel 2 Special Projects Division, Dobbs produced more than two dozen documentary films for the station. He was named 1969 Newsfilm Cameraman of the Year for his work on the KPRC special, Passage to Prudhoe. In 1969, Dobbs and KPRC News Director Ray Miller created The Eyes of Texas, a regional television series examining all things Texas. On the air for 30 years, the series became Houston’s longest-running local television program. 
While maintaining his professional relationship with KPRC, Dobbs also pursued a career as an independent filmmaker. He wrote, directed, and produced various projects for film and television, including Enter the Devil (1972), Hotwire (1980), and Uphill All the Way (1986). Dobbs also produced two mini-series developed by famed Texan novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry: Streets of Laredo (1995) and Dead Man’s Walk (1996). For the Houston-based production company MFC Films, he co-wrote and directed the CBS special Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986), winning a Bronze Wrangler trophy. Dobbs won several other accolades, including two Emmys and a place in the Motion Picture Hall of Fame.