The navigation kinda dictated that I start splitting this up into separate pages so as not to make parts of it too long.
In July, I made my second trip into Saigon and went thru Bien Hoa. The city had been the scene of hard fighting during Tet and it showed. As we went by, it was clear that people were actually still living in some of these buildings…
Goofing off. Self, Bill Leary & Thurston Davis. Taken by John Vuellon at MACV Compound – Psychological Warfare HQ.
Around Long Bien: General’s quarters and 1st Log HQ:
One of by buddies, Underwood, got promoted and Leonard & I went out to where he was on Guard duty to give him the good news and took this…
Some scenes around the base and in our barracks:
Myself & my area…listening to a tape from Carol
July – back on perimeter Guard Duty
I have always really liked that last picture. Kinda says it all….
In August, I stood again for the Soldier of the Month contest and won at my company, my command and at the entire U.S. Army level. I traveled to DaNang where the Country level was contested. I stayed with the Marines in one of their barracks and if you look carefully, you will see just what those characters did to me so that I did not win….a little too much Vodka as I recall.
Later on, after the competition, on a whim, I asked for permission to ride out to a remote site where one of my friends from Miami was stationed in a forward Marine artillery battery. I still remember the really weird feeling (part fear, part exhilaration, part just feeling damned foolish) as we cleared the gate and they geared up with flak vests, helmets, M-16’s and an M-60 machine gun on the Jeep….and I had a baseball cap and a 45! They thought I was plain crazy. I caught a chopper back…LOL.
Sometime shortly after that we had a bit of an altercation/brawl in the barracks regarding one of my compatriots (Bill Leary) and his inebriated desire to do harm to my mosquito netting. We both got a bit damaged in the process but with no permanent harm done. I ended getting the better of my bigger opponent…..still friends.
In the picture below from left to right: Tom “alphabet” Sydlodgic(sp?), Thurston Davis, Self, Gene Griggs, Bill Leary, Tony Long, Don Crawford & John Verellen
One of the more interesting assignments I got was accompanying Major J. W. Cole during an investigation into a criminal case involving the theft of government equipment, tractors and cranes by a US civilian. We went to Saigon the interview persons involved and I acted as the official recorder.
This is some of the equipment involved…not a joke…a full sized crane was almost on a ship to the Philippines before it was caught.
The wildest part of the assignment, and one where I have no pictures for some obvious reasons, was an interview we has with the accused. He was a U.S. civilian which raised some interesting Constitutional questions about the Army’s actions. He had been arrested and placed into what we called the “LBJ” after our president. Also known as Long Bien Jail. Noone got sent there unless they had committed some really serious crime, usually murder or attempted murder or something of that nature.
The day before we were to arrive there, there was a riot in the prison and the prisoners killed at least one guard and took over about half of the prison. Our guy was in the part still under Army control. We were allowed in, no weapons, and there were fires still burning and loose prisoners. The guy we went in to see was living(?) in what is known as a “Conex” container…a large metal box used for shipping stuff. Below is a typical picture of one…
The temperature was off the chart and the guy was naked. I was mighty glad to get out of there. In the scrapbook are copies of some of the reports I wrote about the case.
On that note, I’ll split off to the next page…