National Dusters, Quads, & Searchlight Association, Inc.


This website is dedicated to the men who served with Dusters, Quad 50s, Searchlights, Vulcans, and HAWKs in Vietnam. It is managed by the National Dusters, Quads & Searchlights Association, Inc. which endeavors to share their stories and provide meaningful venues for bonding together in honor of our shared service.

Together Then – Together Again.

Our common bond is that we served in U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery units while in Vietnam, though only the HAWK battalions were actually deployed in a classical air defense artillery role. Our 14 different units served from the DMZ in the north; along the coastal plains; throughout the hills, valleys, and rivers of the Central Highlands; and into the Mekong Delta region in the south. The Dusters, Quads, and Searchlights served in small detachments with as few as two men in the case of a Searchlight crew, or 4 to 6 men for a single Duster or Quad 50.

We were widely dispersed and protected Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force units; Republic of Korea forces, Australian and New Zealand forces; and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces. Our duties in Vietnam covered a broad spectrum of services. At facilities and firebases, we provided counter mortar and counter rocket protection. Against ground attacks we would be located at the most likely avenues of enemy approach. We would also be tasked to participate in sweeps, counter attacks, and reaction forces. During convoy missions, we acted as a deterrent capable of quickly responding to ambushes and as ready reaction forces capable of breaking up bunker complexes with accurate fire. Our high volume of penetrating fire and the ability of Searchlights to “own the night” were in high demand and much appreciated.

Whether protecting from a high point; operating from barges during riverine operations; accompanying ground infantry operations in the bush; or protecting Special Forces camps, we were there. “First To Fire,” the motto of ADA, was our call to arms.

NDQSA Mission Statement

The National Dusters, Quads & Searchlights Association, Inc. (NDQSA™) is the original organization for U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery veterans who served in Vietnam. NDQSA is the only organization of Vietnam ADA veterans officially recognized by the Air Defense Artillery Association headquarters in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. It holds the longest, continual, and official annual reunion for Vietnam ADA veterans.


NDQSA is an IRS 501(c)(19) non-profit veterans’ organization and is incorporated in the State of Indiana.

 As a tribute to the memory of the 222 ADA warriors who lost their lives during the Vietnam War, NDQSA members have funded, constructed, and dedicated a magnificent monument in the Memorial Park at Ft. Sill.

NDQSA was founded in 1981 by John Huelsenbeck and others and grew to a strength of over 4350 members. Even though time and health complications attributed to service in Vietnam have taken many from our fold, it still has over 400 active members with a directory of more than 2,200 ADA Vietnam veterans and supporters.

We welcome and encourage all ADA veterans who served in Vietnam to join NDQSA and to share the fellowship, mutual support, and continued service to our Nation on behalf of all military veterans and active-duty personnel.


Board Members

Meet your Newly Elected Officer’s & Director’s

David McCray – President
Sgt. E5 – C/4th/ 60th and E/41st Quads

I attended several schools until I graduated High School at Newcastle, OK. I went to a junior college at Murray State and then attended Oklahoma University until I was drafted by the Army my senior year. I choose to not finish college and went into the Army to finish on the GI Bill. I then spent the next 9 months in Basic, AIT and NCO School. I began my Vietnam tour with C/4th/60th (Dusters) until the Battery went into stand down. I was transferred to E/41st (Quads) for the next 6 and half months.

Joseph Belardo – 1st Vice President
Sgt. E5 C/1st/44th

I was drafted into the Army in October 1966 and was sent to Ft. Hood, Texas for basic training and AIT on Honest John Rockets. On August 18, 1967, I was sent to Vietnam and was assigned to Charlie Battery, 1st / 44th. Although the 44th was an Army unit, it was deployed to Vietnam as the 3rd Marine Division’s mobile combat fighting team and body recovery unit under Marine control. My area of operation was along fighting all along the DMZ, never going south of Dong Ha.

Rick Liebendorfer - 2nd Vice President

I trained in the spring of 1969 as a 16F at Ft Bliss, TX. In July 1969 after AIT they shipped me to 1st /44th and assigned me to Charlie Battery. Spent my first twelve months along Highway 9 on the DMZ. Charlie Battery was based at Vinh Dai the Seabee rock crusher site off Highway 9. We worked all along Route 9 doing the normal Duster stuff. Then extended six months and went with the battery when we were pulled down to Chu Lai fall of 1970 to support Americal Division. I was Squad leader on C221 and SSGT Olen Upshaw was Section Chief.

Richard Burmood – Secretary

1971 Charlie Battery 1st /44th at Chu Lai and then battalion headquarters at Red Beach. When you look at this photo of me in Vietnam, what do you see? A clean uniform with a ball cap, and a clean track. My experience was very different than most of you. Not long after arrival in country in 1971, I was pulled out of the field to cover the duties of the “C” Battery, 1st /44th unit clerk while he went on R&R. The 1st Sgt conversation went something like this. Me, “Top, I can’t even type.” “Look, Burmood, neither can anyone else here. I pulled you because you had the highest ASVAB scores.”


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