|March 30, 2020|
On January 3, 1970, I flew to Vietnam. After 2 weeks of in-country training, I was assigned to C Troop, 2/1 Cavalry. Our firebase, Trooper, was 100 miles south of Cam Rhan Bay (not sure of spelling). When I arrived, those who had been there for months were completing work on a mess hall.
In honor of getting an ice machine and the mess hall being operational, Our C.O. declared on the following Saturday, we would have a picnic. He had all kinds meats, vegetables, etc flown in. Everyone had been eating C-rations for months so one can imagine the excitement.
All week one of my friends, Washington, had repeatedly stated how he longed for some mashed potatoes. His Momma made the best mashed potatoes in the world and he hoped if we had some they would be just half as good as Mommas'. Washington was obsessed all week with mashed potatoes.
Saturday finally arrived. The aromas coming from the mess hall were unbelievable. George, myself, and 3 others had gathered some empty 50 gal. drums and plywood and made ourselves a picnic table.
George was the last to arrive. In one hand, he had an entire plate of mashed potatoes piled up like a mini volcano. His other hand held a second paper plate with a variety of meats and other goodies.
As George raised his plastic fork and started to dig into his mashed potatoes, a giant horsefly circled his plate and like a dive-bomber buzzing ferociously buried itself in George's mashed potatoes!!
For the longest, George stood there staring at his plate and groaning with the most soul-felt low moan I ever heard and then finally pushed his plates forward and walked away. I assume George went back to his hootch for we did not see him the rest of the day.
I reached over and dug the horsefly out of the potatoes and divided them among the rest of us!!
|April 1, 2020|
|Another Mess Hall Story:|
Arrived in-country January 4, 1968, three weeks before Tet. Assigned to 228th Signal Company at a remote radio relay site on Hon Tre Island, just off the coast at Nha Trang. We were at approximately 400 meters above sea level, so our site provided excellent line of site radio shots up and down the coast and to some of the inland locations in II Cosrps. The civilian contracting company, Page Electronics, was building a permanent installation which was co-located on our site and for which we provided logistic support. Now, if you were there, you know that the ex-pats and civilians contractors in VN were an odd lot
Early in my tour, we were trying to improve our perimeter and build a new bunker, when our guys ran into a large rock formation that we had no equipment to clear. One of the Page geniuses claimed to be a demolition expert. He came up with several sticks of dynamite and proceeded to make a big show of blasting the rock formation. After setting his charges, and with the whole company looking on, he announces loudly, "Fire in the Hole", "Fire in the Hole", "Fire in the Hole", pushes the plunger on his igniter and blows a 20 pound rock through the roof of our mess hall.
The mess hall was out of service that night, the rock formation never got cleared, and we re-sited the bunker.
|April 2, 2020|
|Good one, Texas. Any others Vets willing to share?|
|April 3, 2020|
|Boots on the ground January 2, 1972. TAD orders from the 7th Fleet to Binh Thuy Vietnam, on the Bassac river, Mekong Delta to the Delta Naval Advisory Unit. I was a RM3, radiomen were in short supply in-country and I was assigned to 2 PBR's in support of a small SEAL Team. A year earlier the regular Brown Water Navy turned over all boats and supplies to the South Vietnam Navy. Now I was an adviser, with no experience.|
It was early February morning, we were having breakfast when the base came under attack. The enemy was lobbing motors into the base, with some small arms fire at the wire. As we ran out of the mess hall, a mess cook, a solid 6' 225 lb (running back) ran over an Army Major and just flattened him. Dislocated the Majors shoulder and broke 2 ribs. Now this Major was from Saigon supply headquarters, and wanted some retribution. The mess cook, an e-3, was given 30 days of latrine duty. That meant SBD (Sh*t Burning Detail). On his second day he did not check the wind conditions, yup it was blowing into the base. Most of the base just stunk. The base commander was not a happy camper at this time and busted the guy to e-1 and 2 weeks pay, with another 30 days at SBD.
|April 3, 2020|
|Dirtball, my nephew showed me pictures of the SBD on his base in Iraq. Looked like the technology hadn't changed in 50 years, just the uniforms.|
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