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Thread: Old Vietnam slides from 66

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Default Old Vietnam slides from 66

    Packing up stuff in case I had to evacuate, turned up missing slides from Vietnam taken fall or later 1966. I have very few photos of myself out in the field because the last thing I wanted to do was have to worry about a $75 camera in a war. I had to lead convoys down Hwy 1 from time to time between Nha Trang and supply base at Cam Rahn Bay. Some times from Nin Hoa. Reasonably safe most of the time but there were occasional ambushes and RPG attacks. Casual rifle fire into the vehicles was common, especially around the Michelin rubber plantation. These photos show dry rice fields which would be around Christmas.

    Me having a cigar outside my favorite truck HQ-1. A 1953 White (same company that made US halftracks) multifuel diesel. Ran on anything but Av Gas. -JP4, Diesel, kerosene, gasoline, whiskey, methanol what have you. Large turbocharged engine, 6x6 5 sp X 2, air brakes weighed 13,000 lbs. Check out the front bumper, you could head on a full sized pick up or sedan and escape unscathed. The batteries were always dead so I'd jump it in the morning and let it idle or run all day in that heat. I moved over for nothing on Hwy 1. This monster could be driven into a C130 for air transport.
    My kit was standard for 66, jungle boots, tropical combat trousers with draw strings at the cuff, huge side pockets made from a cotton nylon material, very tough yet lightweight. Essentially a tropical copy of the WW2 airborne uniform. Tee shirt, Korean war vintage flack vest. Web gear has first aid pack on left shoulder, two ammo pouches in this case holding 2-20rd M14 mags each, canteen in the rear, a Viet made pig sticker on the right rear. Made from an auto spring with a teak handle and leather sheath. About the size of a KaBar. Army only issued Bayonets and survival knives, this thing was sharper and easier to grab. Inside the cab was my M14 in a spring loaded holder attached to the dash. ready to go with a rag tied arount the receiver to keep out dirt. A bag inside held another 20-30 20 rd 7.62 mags.
    The mountains held a few hundred NVA or local Viet Cong depending when you asked. On the other side was the South China Sea.


    Typical French mason style rice farmer's house. The paddies would completely surround the main house. Old French Mile markers on Hwy 1. In this case 28 klicks from Nha Trang, our camp was next to the 5th SF headquarters/jungle school. Out in the countryside it was all indian country. The road security was done by 4PM and you had better be done by then.

    Me and Herman scaring the shit out of a farmer. Notice, no rank, no outfit patch, I preferred to be unknown whenever I traveled around, it made theft and looting easier. I was holding an M3 Grease gun which isn't visible in this photo. I was 21-22 years old at this time and still had a bit of meat on my bones. By spring 67 I was down 20lbs most being muscle. When there is no more fat, the body takes muscle next.

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    Awesome pics.

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    Member msa6712's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the story and pics, Dave...
    Hopefully you wont have to evacuate!
    msa6712
    Z-7

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    Hi Dave
    So how old are you now 72 or so,ever thought of doing your memoirs I'll bet there are some good tales in there.

    Regards Sean

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    Senior Member river rat's Avatar
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    Cool photo's Dave. Hope things get better for Santa Rosa.

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean View Post
    Hi Dave
    So how old are you now 72 or so,ever thought of doing your memoirs I'll bet there are some good tales in there.

    Regards Sean
    73 today. I was a housecat, spent more time in camp than in the field. Infantry maneuver battalions have a story to tell. My story is just about a filthy camping trip with guns..and rats the size of your cat. 365 days of sun that hurt to be in, bad water, filth, bad food, boredom with some terror tossed in for spice. Some of the most frightening flying ever in CV2s, C130s, Hueys. Viets are wonderful people, country was beautiful until it got wrecked. Happy as shit that I was gone by Tet.

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    Member Reintitan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    73 today.
    Happy Birthday!

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    Happy birthday Dave and thank you for your service to our country. You are the same age as a good friend, colleague and shooting buddy who is also a Vietnam vet. I suspect that he and I may be two of last 2A supporting academic types here on campus. Great pics. If you find anymore please post them for us.
    Tom

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Thank you Tom. My next door neighbor who is in his 30s thinks Vietnam was part of WW2 and I think he's pretty typical. It amazes me how the range is always packed with unsafe kids yet apparently the kids don't like guns. Out here they are just too delicate and wonderful to find a firearm a useful tool. Give them their Capri Sun Juice packet and participation trophy and they're happy.
    D

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    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    Belated Happy Birthday Dave.

    Kids/Adults not being taught or knowing monumental periods in living memory is definitely annoying. Did you catch the Ken Burns Vietnam War documentary on PBS recently ?

    IAP
    Order of the Invisible Ethereal Electron with Crossed Wizard's Wands

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    I did watch it Ian. I thought it was very well done. especially the first episodes about the French and the Tet which I just missed. The only part that brought back bad memories was the last ones about the hippies and protestors. I hated those people and put a few lumps on the heads of people when I first returned. The hippies were really difficult to deal with because they were getting free money under LBJs War on Poverty. It was a rough couple of years seeing how the soldiers were treated by well off asshats who directed their cowardice toward the people who were over there. As in my case, thousands of the soldiers were drafted. The choice was simple: the Army or prison. To this day I feel guilty about not doing what I was supposed to do, go to OCS or Special Forces. I had qualified for both. I was advised to avoid OCS as it was a sure way to die. The business of trading lives for real estate is a killer. SF would have meant staying in the Army for 2 more years and I barely made it through 22 1/2 months. I just wanted out.

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    Senior Member Flightpath's Avatar
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    Happy belated birthday Dave, I have not checked here for a couple of weeks! Hope you and yours are safe.......

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Thanks John. We are all fine except for breathing two weeks of toxic smoke. This city is a wreck though. In one area about 2 miles by 3 miles, over 1000 houses burned to the ground. Up on the hills, about $100M went up. There is a lot of weird speculation about the whole fire. Some people think it was a contrived event. Saying that military grade accelerant was used. The 911 calls were timed in the paper and it says that the fire started in Kenwood as a small brush fire. 27 minutes later several fires started at a point on Fulton rd about 10 miles west. The company line from Cal fire was that the fire traveled something like 12 miles in 10 minutes? Other oddities all the burned cars were completely destroyed down to the glass gone and melting the aluminum wheels. No steel debris from the radial tires or any tire debris. 50 feet away a tree would be barely singed. The houses were all burned down to a half inch of ash, and whatever bricks were left. Napalm (and I've seen some of that used) would not have done a job this good. Also the government was keen to come in and clean up all of the "toxic ash" and do it for free seeking only what the insurance was going to give the owner. Some of these places had not even been checked for dead people(really just bone fragments and ashes). The National guard has all of it neatly locked down and nobody gets in unless they live there. Some people think that it is the work of HAARP sites as there is a large microwave installation on top of one of the hills that burned for miles around. See Michio Kaku on the HAARP sites controlling weather and making hurricanes and lightning.

    Hope your goods came through OK. See you later.
    D

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