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Interview with SSG Terry Cadenbach, MACV-SOG Command & Control Central

. At first a small introduction to readers who you are and what SF groups you served?


Terry Cadenbach, SSG. I was with SOG (CCC) at Kontum from Oct 68 until April 1970. Then I was in the 7th at Bragg until 31 Jan 72 when I was processed out due to my injuries.

2. How did you find your way into SOG? 

When we processed in at Nha Trang to 5th Group they were asking for volunteers for a “secret project” so of the 11 of us, 9 of us volunteered.

3.Can you tell us about your most memorable mission in SOG? 

On March 26, 1969 we overran a truck refueling station on the Trail. I took a bullet and my shot hit the bolt on the SKS carried by the NVA who shot me.  My M16 jammed (failed to extract and tried to feed another round in). I have pictures of me holding the rifle I got shot with and of the guy who shot me.  We found 55 gallon drums of diesel with Shell Oil on them.  What made it so memorable was that when they sent me to Japan to be sewn up, the second day at 5:30 I heard a voice I recognized as my best friend asking if I was ready to go.  So, for a month he would pick me up after he got off work and his girlfriend and her girlfriend and I spent a month touring Tokyo every evening.  Turns out he was in a secret communications unit who relayed all the classified traffic to the White House and he saw the traffic come across about me being shot and sent to the hospital in Japan.

4 .The Colt CAR15 is well known for being used by SOG, how well did you like it or did you prefer something else? By most accounts it seems to have been well loved.

When I returned from the hospital in Japan, at the end of April 69 we had been issued the first batch of Car 15s.  The smaller carbines were much more practical for our use in the jungle.  I own 3 of them now.

5 Did you make any changes to your carbine for you personally? Many pictures have been seen with forward grips attached to CAR15s among other things and I wonder if that was done by the users or an armorer. 

I don’t recall anyone making any modifications although I’m sure some did. I just added some paracord to make a sling

6 When on missions did you or your peers carry a sidearm/pistol as a secondary weapon? And if so what was it and where was it normally carried? Many books mention carrying handguns but few photos give any indication where on the body or field gear it was carried.

 After I got shot the first time I started carrying a .38 Smith & Wesson  and a Browning .25 auto.  We were issued a 1911 but I was afraid of them so I never carried mine.

7 Could you tell us what other weapons you may have carried during your time in the war and how you liked each?-  

Once or twice I carried an M3 Grease gun to use for ambushes on convoys but it was just too heavy.  It was fun to play with on the range but just too much extra weight in the bush.

8 Always an ongoing topic of interest, the individual gear and items is something  people who read about SOG are curious to learn . Can you tell us what was carried on your person for mission?

Indig sleeping bag, indig poncho, harness with 20 mags, grenades. Thermite and WP grenades, 2 blocks of C4 and a claymore plus 2 2 quart water bladders and 1 canteen, signal panel, signal mirror, flare gun, smoke grenades and a survival knife.

9 During the Vietnam War some very early optics were used like the colt 3x and 4x and the early red dots, did you use or see used any of those early optics?- 

The only optic I saw the entire time I was there was in December 68 when I was stuck on Leghorn all month and the brought me a Remington 700 BDL to use as a sniper rifle, as we were being hit daily, beginning on Dec 17

LRLeghorn was the name for a vertical peak in Laos accessible only by chopper that SOG occupied though the war for radio relay and other missions.

A very big thank you to ,Terry Cadenbach for doing our SOG veteran interview.

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