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Friday, 25 July 2008

The Bunker. Phan Thiet airfield. 1968




A scene from our camp after a particularly difficult night.

I remember having sat on this bunker a few evenings before, a can of beer in my hand, watching a duel between a US gunship and a VC machine gun.

The gunship was probably an old Dakota (DC3, although C119s were used) fitted with three Gatling type multiple barreled machine guns. The Viet Cong were probably equipped with a 51mm heavy machine gun. The gunship was called “Puff the Magic Dragon” because when it fired its machine guns the effect of the tracers on the night sky was akin to the flames of a dragon. The song by Peter, Paul and Mary was also very popular at that time. I always listen to it with a certain nostalgia.
And the bunker? I was in another one. I imagine anyone who had passed the night in the one in the picture would have had their brains scrambled.

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