Chu Lai was the last 'out-of-town' station I was in. I remember the ride down,
I got to ride in a DC-3, it was the Admiral's plane and in addition to me there
were a lot of Vietnamese and some of them brought along their chickens (in crates).
What a ride I was as impressed with the DC3 as I was the chickens in crates.
This station was at a POL (see the old fuel drums in the picture of the hooch. I was actually the third highest ranking person there. A Navy ensign was in charge and there was one E6 and I was an E5 and the rest of the crew were E4s and on down.
This place had a US Army fuel testing unit (a couple of US Army E4s) and their job was to take a boat out to the tankers and get a sample of their fuel and make sure it was OK. On one trip out a Korean tanker had a bit more that oil on board, they had some POT and apparently were worried about being busted so the story was that they gave it to the two Army fuel testers. They did their testing with these huge beakers and I saw a picture of them, each holding two 5 gallon glass beakers full to the rim with marijuana. The whole fuel farm had a high old time getting rid of that stuff.
While in Vietnam I followed the same guy around the outlying stations. When the fellow I followed got to Chu Lai he was appointed master at arms of the small club at the POL. On on occasion everyone, including the weatherman got plastered and when the E6 in charge came in the next day there was the weatherman passed out on the floor of the club. Well needless to say when I got there I did not enjoy the same station but was put to work along with everyone else on the fuel farm. I don't think I ever will forgive that guy. I only saw him for about 20 minutes the whole time I was in country but I always had to live down his reputation when I arrived at one of these places.
I was in Chu Lai at Christmas time. I had the afternoon off on Christmas eve so I headed down to the AmeriCal Division where the show was about two hours early. I was sure I was going to get a good seat. When I got there I found that about 5,000 other GIs had the same idea and I was about 1/4 mile back from the stage. I still had a grand time and got to see Ann Margaret and Bob Hope.
This was also the place where I ate a frog. And I grew the first moustache I have ever worn (and still do to this day, I have never shaved it off). Once when getting my hair cut, and by this time all my hair was grey and I was bald the barber looked at me and said, "I bet that is a Nam-Stache". This guy could not have been over 30 years old and I was impressed.
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