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Thursday, 15 March 2007

Decca, Phan Thiet

Decca, Phan Thiet, was known as Green South since the development of the central chain. It was one of the three slave stations. It's personnel had originaly been housed on station but at one time in the past considering themselves the subject of Viet Cong sniper fire had moved down town. By the time I arrived there was only one Decca technician left and due to the deteriorating situation in town he had moved back on station. We now had a detachment of eight members of the 16th Signals Company who more or less ran the station. I feel our role now was purely advisory although we did shifts along with them. The isolation we had known, and perhaps were jealous of had gone. I once heard a story of a Decca technician, who, left alone too long on an island in the Persian Gulf, had opened fire on a relief ship.
We had no problems in any case with them, and their sergeant was a very keen fellow. Messing was difficult for me. My fellow American Decca technician used to wear US army green fatigues and just walked in to the mess on base and was never questioned. With my beard and khaki drills I was not admitted. Officialy Decca was attached to the Provincial Advisory Team which was based down town. Actualy this pleased me as it gave me an excuse to drive down town three times a day to eat and get about. I had had enough of living on army bases when I was a soldier. Van Kiep had been different as it was largely a Vietnamese base.

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