Memories; when we get older and if we're lucky most of our memories are of the better times
Someone sent me a old photo of the LocNinh air strip and I added some info in relation to June 66
and posted it with my pictures.
Some of you will remember the shower that was in one of the small buildings next to the French house,
well you can't see that building but the French house stands out.
When you look at pictures of where you've been in the past always a bunch of memories will come
In late June or early July 1966 Charlie company once again was at LocNinh, this time we set up on the left side
of the strip with 2nd Plt starting at the French house looping North to the end of the airstrip. The very 1st day we moved in
was like every day over there at that time of the year HOT. That morning as were setting up the plt perimeter I had occasion to walk by the house several times. Two Frenchmen were setting on the big porch and they would wave and say something in French every time I went by. About the 2nd or 3rd time they waved me over to the porch, now I don't even know any cuss words in French and these two dudes didn't speak English but their meaning was very plain when they offered me a very cold bottle of beer.
Perhaps a hour later Sgt Lutz (1st plt sgt) came by to make sure our two plts were connected up properly, Lutz remarked that it was sure hot and a cold beer would really hit the spot. Well I told him about my experience at the French house and that he should just wander up that way and more than likely they would offer him a beer. Lutz insisted that we go up together (he had to twist my arm) anyway as we are walking past the house these two dudes called us over and invited us up on the porch for a beer. I think maybe Lutz knew a few words of French?
Anyway we are setting up there in the shade enjoying ourselves and to make this story come out where you will understand it I must make mention of the fact that I had a brand new Plt Ldr, a little skinny kid hardly old enough to be out of grade school, his name escapes me but this kid was in 100 percent in awe of us old timers. (My plt leader walked by twice while Lutz and I were on the porch and we just acted like we didn't see him)
About the time our beer is about gone and I'm thinking its about time to leave a old Vietnamese houseboy wheeled a big
covered charcoal barbecue out on the porch. As we had been living on C-rations for several months the smells coming from the barbecue were very interesting, I think me and Lutz stood up and made a 1/2 hearted attempt to leave but the two French guys made it plain we were invited to stay and sample whatever was in the cooker. (they didn't have to twist our arms)
About this time a little car pulled up and two people got out and came up on the porch, one I think was the Mayor of LocNinh the other was without a doubt the most beautiful Vietnamese women that I had ever seen. (Dressed like she was going to visit royalty)
So picture in your mind, two grunts that I'm sure perhaps smelled a little ripe, two Frenchmen, the Mayor and this knockout babe. They can speak French and Vietnamese but no English. This left Lutz and myself with more than likely stupid grins on our faces.
About this time the houseboy opens up the double doors that lead into the house and there before our eyes is this long dinning table, setup formal style (White table cloth and real plates with real silverware) the whole nine yards.
I don't remember much about the food except that it was a million times better than anything that ever came from a C-ration can, with the meal they served big glasses of a red wine, everytime the glass was 1/2 empty the houseboy was standing there to fill it up.
After the meal the Mayor and the babe disappeared, leaving the four of us to move back to the porch. Out came four huge cigars and four huge glasses of real scotch whiskey (no doubt to settle the stomach)
Now I never was much of a drinker, (two beers at least two glass's of wine, a cigar and toped off with scotch) well as we're setting on the porch I'm starting to feel bad (not drunk just bad) anyway I made my excuses and left the party with Lutz setting there with a big smile on his face jabbering away with the two French dudes.
I went back to the plt area and was setting in the shade when here came the CO (Cpt Paone) and my plt leader inspecting the platoon line. When the CO saw me he asked me if I felt ok and I guess I told him I didn't feel to good, anyway he told me to go to the BN aid station and get checked out. All this time my new plt leader is giving me kind of funny? looks, he and the CO took off to finish the inspection and maybe 20 minutes later they came back and I was still in the same shady spot. The CO asked me what the doc said and I told him that I hadn't yet went to the aid station. One of the few time I ever did see the CO loose his cool (get your ass to the aid station now!)
To end a very long story the chief medic looked at me and told me I was as white as a sheet, after I told him why he just laughed, told me to go take a nap and that he would notify my CO that I'd been out in the sun to much and I'd be just fine in a few hours. I was.
I talked with Sgt Lutz in 96 or 97, he was living in sunny California at the time, but I think he has that oldtimer thing as he didn't remember any of the above story.