I am a Vietnam Veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division in 1967-68 during the Tet Offensive. I worked as a Design Engineer for 33 years and hold a B.S.E.E. Degree. It is from my engineering interest and love for the game of pool that I became interested in cue repair and design. I started repairing cues in 1993 and a year later produced my first cue. I am capable of designing and building anything from "Sneaky Petes" to more elaborate cues with inlays. I prefer to build my own designs and offer cues for sale as they are completed. I build a very limited number of cues each year striving for quality rather than quantity. I build all of my cues by hand and the use of a manual pantograph. The most important aspect of building cues to me is the performance of the finished product - the "Hit" is everything. I prefer cues with a flat faced wood to wood joint and will not build a cue with a stainless steel joint. All of my woods are hand selected for the finest available. The cues you will be viewing on my site are all personal cues or cues that I have built. If you see a cue you are interested in just E-Mail me for pricing.
Battle of Phuoc Yen During End of 1968 Tet Offensive Involving 101st Airborne Infantry Paratroopers From Our 2nd Brigade and 2/501 Battalion.
A Little Vietnam History of My Tour.
LTC Richard Tallman. This was our Battalion Commander that I RTO'd for prior to the Phuoc Yen Battle. LTC Tony Heiter took over command of the Battalion after LTC Richard Tallman.
LTC Tony Heiter was the Battalion Commander for the 2/501 during the battle of Phuoc Yen. I was one of LTC Heiters RTO's. During the Battle I was RTO for Major Robert Nicholson on the front line.
Tribute To Congressional Medal Of Honor Recepiants From D Company 2/501 February 21, 1968.
Ron Betts (L) and Greg Whitlock (RT) both from Wood River, IL. and good friends. Photo was taken at Bien Hoa when I finished my Tour and was leaving the 101st Airborne. I had to borrow a shirt from Greg to wear because my shirt was torn and ripped up.
Fire Support Base T-Bone. LTC Tony Heiter was Battalion Commander on T-Bone when this photo was taken. Alan Golden took this photo and caught me walking out to the chopper to meet SSG John Henry. I am the guy in the T-shirt and John Henry is lighting up a cigarette standing by the door of the helicopter. Photo was taken sometime in the summer of 1968.
Colonel John H. Cushman 2nd Brigade Commander engineered the assault on Phuoc Yen.
Tim Jones (L) and Mike Dorch (RT) at Mac V Compound in Hue after TET. Dorch and I fought together at Phuoc Yen. Mike Dorch was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
I once read in the Bible to write down the things we have seen. A personal poem I wrote about Phuoc Yen. Art Work By Alex Betts.
LZ Pinkey. Photo was taken by combat photographer SP/4 Bailey. Source of the photo was from my yearbook of our tour. Pinkey was attacked and over run by 300 North Vietnamese early one morning.
Jim Bauer at DucPho Vietnam. Jim and I joined the paratroopers together. Jim served with 101st Airborne "A" company, 1/326 Combat Engineer Battalion.
Ron Betts Custom Cues And 2-501 Airborne
There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.
After Action Report For Phuoc Yen
From Left to Right in front: R. Betts, J. Cudd, S. Brown, J. Henry, Smith, D. Williams, Miles, Pyclik. Soldier with his back to the camera on the left is D. Crissell.
Detroit Riots Pictures June 1967 Prior To Our Departure To Viet Nam. Our 2/501 Airborne Infantry Battalion was Called To Go To Detroit To Stop The Riots. Photos Were Taken At A School Where We Set Up Communications.
Photo Shows Busses We Rode To Town In And The Battalion Troops Just After Arriving. Photo supplied by John Cudd.
Any 2nd Brigade 101st Airborne Troopers from 1967-68 wanting on this site E-mail me with picture, name and comments to Rrlbetts@aol.com.
Unknown troopers from 2nd Brigade. Help us identify these guys if you can. Photo supplied by John Cudd.
Harry Flinner. Another of LTC Heiter RTO's. Harry and I were as close as brothers.
Captain John J. "Ski" Przybylski. Commander Cobra Company 2/501 Airborne Infantry.
Clifford Chester Simms
John Cudd. John was one of my closest friends in Vietnam and remains today.
Carl Brazel with Hamburger Hill in the background.
Columbus Newburn with his arms crossed, a very special friend. I can't identify the other two troopers. The photo was probably taken at Cu Chi when we first arrived in Vietnam. Photo supplied by John Cudd.
Fire Base Tommahawk. This was the last place I served with the 101st Airborne Division. I was only there a few hours when it was just a mountain and there was no barb wire or anything. A helicopter arrived on the mountain and a soldier was looking for me. I had a 1049 approved to go to another unit so I asked the soldier when could I leave and he said "right now". I set my prc-25 radio down and got on that helicopter and left. My tour with the 101st Airborne was over.
Fred Leenhouts S-3 Operations Sergeant for 2/501. Picture shows Fred after he left the 101st Airborne and went to Special Forces. I was the S-3 RTO and reported to Fred during our tour. We were both on the advanced party to Vietnam ahead of the rest of the Battalion. Fred gave me the discipline to be successful in life and I will be forever grateful.
Ron Betts S-3 RTO LZ SALLY 1968 20 years old. Sam Estrada took this picture. The Beret belonged to Sam and he asked me to put it on so he could take my picture. This photo was taken in June 1968 after the Tet Offensive was over and things were quiet. Since I was so close to Fred Leenhouts I decided to place this picture next to his.
Ron's new 2015 Harley 1200 Custom Sportster. The old war dog isn't dead yet. As long as I can throw a leg over one I will ride them.
FSB AIRBORNE Helicopter crash. Photo supplied by Carl Brazel. Carl say's the FSB took over 200 rounds of mortar fire in one night.
Personal Vietnam Combat and Service Awards Earned On My Tour.
Hut where the TOC Radio's were kept.
Attack on the TOC Radios Feb. 20/21 1968 just west of the AnLo Bridge.
This wall was behind the TOC Radios on the west side and was the secondary line of defense during the attack on the TOC. There was a wall about three feet high about 10 yards in front of this wall and it was the first line of defense where I was positioned with about a half dozen or so Delta Raiders.
NVA Enemy were in this building with automatic weapons and we fought them all night long on Feb. 20/21. This view is just about what I saw from my position. We were fighting behind a wall approximately three feet high that was the first line of defense. My best guess is that we were about 40 to 50 yards from the NVA when the fighting was going on.
I will tell the event the only way I know how thru my eyes as it happened. Because people died in this action I think I owe it to those Paratroopers that died that night to honor them and document this action. It was Feb. 20, 1968 in the evening around 8:00 pm. We were deciding who was going to take what positions for the night. I volunteered to go back out on line for the night. We had about a half dozen or so Delta Raiders that night and we decided to make two man fire teams. My man went on line at the three foot wall at around 8:00 pm or so and I remained at the secondary wall until 10:00 pm when we were supposed to trade places every two hours. Everything was quiet at this point. I went on line at 10:00 pm. Shortly after that the fireworks started. The enemy had set up automatic weapons in a building in front of us about 40-50 yards away. It was now dark and the shooting started. I was firing over and around the three foot wall working my way back and forth to keep from becoming a target. The rest of the Delta Raiders were firing like crazy. I remember the Delta Raider Platoon Sergeant saying "Don't shoot me, I'm coming up". I thought that was kind of funny. Flares were being shot up for illumination. You quickly learned not to expose yourself when the illumination was up and fire when it got dark again. It was getting close to midnight and I was looking to be relieved by my man. I thought something was wrong. Illumination was up again and I looked back for my man and I saw him sitting up. I knew this couldn't be good. I made my way back to him and sure enough he was sitting up on the near side of the wall instead of behind the wall with a bullet wound right smack in the middle of his forehead. I checked him over and found no signs of life. I knew I was on my own so I made my way back on line at the three foot wall. We came under fierce fire at least three times that night. It was now about an hour before sunrise and I had shot all my ammo up except for two magazines I had left with 18 rounds in each. I was saving these for what might have been the end. When daylight came we made our way up to that building the NVA had been in. I remember seeing a lot of blood trails in there. It looked like they got their dead and wounded and got the hell out of there before sunrise. The Operations Sergeant helped me carry my man and lay him down. From what I remember there were two other troopers laying there also. I believe we had three troopers killed in that action. Later in the day there was a ceremony by Chaplin Erbach and there was three rifles in the ground for the three killed. A sniper was shooting at Chaplin Erbach and we dispatched two troopers to take care of him. Chaplin Erbach was giving me communion when the rounds started coming in. This took place at objective Pinkey.
Attack on the TOC Radios Summary
Staff Sergeant John Henry and company. Henry was both S-3 and Recon during the 1967-1968 tour. Henry and I became very good friends. This photo was taken on a later tour than ours and I believe it was with the 1st. Cavalry Recon Platoon. There is a story behind the girl. She was smuggled in on a helicopter in a mail bag right under a Colonel's nose.
Layout Drawing of the Attack on the TOC Radios and Personnel. Art work by Alex Betts.
Write up of SGT. Michael E. Dorch for his well deserved Distinguished Service Cross.
SGT. Michael E. Dorch Alpha Avenger 2/501 pictured on right. Tim Jones pictured on left.