A WAR STORY

Cam Ranh Bay AB
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to War!
1970

© 1996, by Dave Dobson
483rd SPS,
Cam Ranh Bay AB  

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1970 - One night we had been in a yellow alert status since about 2200 hours and got the word about 0300 to pickup our augmentees. We went to the various posts and picked up the posted augees to transport them to the pickup point so they could be taken back to their respective squadron areas.
       I picked up the last one at Oscar 3, on the South China Sea beach side of Cam Ranh Bay AB, and started toward the pick up point. We were hurrying along to get him dumped so they would get him and start relief at 0500. I was driving with the Tiger Eyes on, no headlights. Naturally I was driving a little faster than was safe under these conditions but I wanted to get off and go back to the Hooch.
       Visibility was poor and I did not see the large stones until I hit them bouncing everyone around. The augee was sitting in the back seat with his helmet on his head, wearing his flak vest, carrying his weapon in one hand and a bag in the other hand. When I hit the bump and the jeep bounced up he went flying out of his seat and when he came back down the jeep had moved forward and he landed in a sitting position with both legs straight out in front of him holding his weapon and bag-his helmet was at an angle and a bewildered look was on his face. I realized he was gone, when my grenadier, who was use to this type of occurrence and had held on, looked back and yelled at the poor augee, "Hey dude, you aren't supposed, to get out here."
       I stopped, backed up and jumped out to see if the man was all right. He was, and we hurried to the pick up point. We all had a good laugh numerous times after that over the grenadier's quick thinking in telling the man he was not to get out there.

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Reprinted from VSPA Guardmount - Oct 1996

 

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