Vietnam
Biên Hòa AB
34th Tac Group/AP

Lizards!

11-01-1964
Photos by Michael Evans
Life Member 252
BH, 34th Tac Group/AP
1964-1965

© 2008

 

I arrived in Nam Nov 1964, assigned to Biên Hòa. My first night was spent without a mosquito net. I slept from exhaustion and awoke the next morning with a swollen face from the mosquito bites. I had blood on me where where I had rolled over and squished the bugs that were biting me.

The first few months seem like a daze now. We pulled the usual security duty on gates, planes etc. There was one post that was strange. We had to guard the generators between the taxiway and the runway. The generators were so loud you couldn't have heard a battalion of VC marching in cadence. I remember my first trip out there the men we relieved carried pillows with them. They told us newbies that it was so loud you couldn't hear anything but if you slept on the roof next to the exhausts you could stay warm I thought they were nuts. I was to find out later that the SPs at Biên Hòa had a reputation for being crazy.

At night we could see the lizards sleeping in the trees with their tails hanging down. These lizards were about 10 inches long from nose to tail. Two of us were guarding a gate with some Vietnamese ARVN. My partner and I got the bright idea of catching all the lizards we could. We caught them and put rocks on their tails to hold them down. When we had about 20, we lined them up and then kicked the rocks loose to watch them run. There were lizards running in every direction and one ran up my pants leg across my crotch and down the other side. I was screaming and jumping up and down. The lizard started back up my leg when I managed to catch him before dropping my pants and getting him out. During all this my partner and the ARVN are on the ground laughing themselves silly. I didn't see the humor.... then.

One of the ARVN grabbed a lizard, flicked it under it's chin and the lizard opened his mouth. The ARVN then put the filter end of a lit cigarette in it's mouth. The lizard then closed it's mouth on the cigarette. The ARVN let the lizard go and it ran off holding it's head up high which was also very comical to see. So we repeated the above mentioned lizard race all with cigarettes in their mouths. Our patrol came by just before we turned them loose and the Sgt just shook his head and said he had to see what happened next. He couldn't understand why I jumped on the truck just before we let them go.

That is just another example what SPs will do to pass the time. The USAF decided to build a dirt hill near the outer perimeter and make it a listening post at night. One night while sitting there with a fellow SP. We heard something moving at the bottom of the hill out of sight. It was coming up the hill towards us and we were scared s** *less. Then over the crest came something straight at us, we opened fire only to discover that it was two dogs chasing each other. Of course with the firing came the SP patrol wanting to know what the shooting was about and they got quite a laugh at our expense.

A2C Mike Evans
34th Air Base Squadron
Biên Hòa 1964-1965

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