Captured during TET '68 - Released in March 1973
Donat J. "Don" Gouin SFC, USA Det 5, Hue 1967-68
Sergeant First Class Don Gouin shot these pictures at the AFVN military radio and television station at Hue South Vietnam during 1967 and early 1968. The station was overrun during Tet 1968 after a fierce fire fight. Three men were killed and the rest became POW's. All the POW's returned home after five years in captivity.
"I arrived In Saigon on Easter Sunday 1967. I was assigned to AFRTS in Saigon; then in May I was sent to hue. I was the Chief Engineer for the TV station in Hue. During the TET Offensive, the area was overrun and our quarters were attacked. I was taken prisoner February 5, 1968 and held in small camps along the way to North Vietnam.
I entered North Vietnam on Easter Sunday 1968 and arrived in the Hanoi area in August 1968. I was in two camps outside Hanoi until the day before Thanksgiving 1970 when they moved me to "Plantation Gardens." Then on December 27, 1972 I was moved for the last time to the "Hanoi Hilton." I was kept there in the "Vegas Compound" until my release on March 5, 1973."
Sgt. Gouin's background includes 20 years of service in the Army before his capture in 1967. Born in Central Falls, Rhode Island in 1929, he enlisted in the Army in August 1947. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii from 1948 to 1952, at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska from 1953 to 1954 and at Ft. Gordon, Georgia from 1954 to 1955. He attended the Advanced Television School in Los Angeles from 1955 to 1956 and then was assigned to the Army Pictorial Center, New York City from 1956 to 1958. From 1958 to 1960 he was assigned to Kagnew Station, Asmara, Eritrea (Ethiopia). He returned to the Army Pictorial Center in New York for a year and then was at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey from 1961 to 1967 . In 1967 he went to Vietnam.
He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. At present, Sgt. Gouin is in Fort Knox, Kentucky with his wife, Alma Jane Batch Gouin and his three children, Elizabeth Jane, Barbara Jean and Carl Joseph. He is assigned to the Armor School TV Division.
Personal Reflections: "I want to thank the American people for their reception, especially the people in Lima, Ohio, my wife's home town, and Central Falls, Rhode Island. I want you to remember this: Keep your faith in God and your country and nothing will be too difficult."
In December 1996 Donat Gouin retired from the Unites States Army as a Master Sergeant. He and his wife, Alma. lived in Ohio. Donat died of cancer surgery complications in 2009.
Individual Photo Albums & Stories
There were another nine photos, mostly of the construction of the tower, with the
original Geocities file but they are no longer accessible.
More on Detachment, 5 Hue and TET 68 at
AFVN Organization /Detachment 5, Hue
AFVN Photos and Stories /Frank Ettmueller
AFVN Photos and Stories /Rick Fredericksen
Don Gouin taking a break at the back of the TV van.
This is the CORDS building where AFVN first set up in Hue. The attack during Tet '68 was at a later location,
which was at the 2-story villa at #3 Dong Da, the former US consul residence.