1970 through March 1971, then SEAL LCDR Joe DeFloria was the Officer in Charge
of Detachment Golf, Binh Thuy. As such, he was the operational commander for
all SEAL platoons and MST-2 detachments in the Mekong Delta, and he reported
directly to the commander of Task Force 116 for special-warfare operations.
I first met Commander DeFloria when we boarded the same C-118 to deploy to Vietnam,
and it was immediately obvious that Joe was larger-than-life, a SEAL among SEALs.
What I would learn as an MST-2 officer during our Vietnam deployment was that
Joe was both an extraordinary leader and an all-around great guy. As I’m sure
it will be with every member of MST-2 who reads the following, I am truly humbly
honored by his thoughts. Bill Bremer]
Support Team Two! The name belies the mission of a small group of men who took
the fight to the enemy’s doorstep throughout the Mekong Delta during the protracted
war in Vietnam. From the Rung Sat Special Zone, to the tip of the Ca Mau Peninsula,
these courageous sailors plied the seemingly endless serpentine rivers of South
Vietnam, inserting, covering, supporting, and extracting U.S. Navy SEALs, in
their mission to deny the waterways of the Delta to the enemy.
The fact that almost all Mobile Support Team Two (MST-2) operations
were carried out at night, in total darkness, navigating narrow, and often times
uncharted rivers, dotted with sandbars and other obstacles, speaks volumes about
the professionalism and skill of these men. They were sitting ducks as their
boats wound precariously along the twisting, swift rivers. Although the boats’
powerful engines were modified for silence, the humming could be heard for miles
in the deathly quiet night air. On those numerous occasions when they came under
fire from enemy ambush, the men of MST-2 fought back courageously and effectively
with everything they had. They knew how to use their weapons -- the .50’s, M-60’s, Honeywells, mortars, Miniguns, M-79’s, and M-16’s. And there were many times
while inserting or extracting, that the SEALs came under heavy, and often overwhelming
enemy fire. Again, these gallant men of MST-2 were there, bringing all their
arms to bear with heavy, accurate fire to help suppress the enemy, gain fire
superiority, and, with guns blazing, extract their human cargo.
When we look back at the U.S. Navy’s role in the war in Vietnam
carried out on the rivers of the Mekong Delta, the men of MST-2 stand tall with
their comrades that include the SEALs, UDTs, PBR sailors, PCF Sailors, Black
Ponies, and Seawolves. Mobile Support Team Two’s story is one of professionalism,
courage, heroism, and glory that is very familiar to those of us who were fortunate
enough to have fought alongside them. Bill Bremer, who as the Officer in Charge
of MST-2, Det. Golf, is one of the men responsible for the overwhelming success
of the Mobile Support Team Detachments in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. He has
taken it upon himself to tell their story.
Commander Joe DeFloria, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Pages from LDCR DeFloria's wheel book]