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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The airfield, Phan Thiet, Vietnam, 1968

More scenes from our camp at Phan Thiet.

When our water storage shed was destroyed and the main source of water in Phan Thiet was no longer functioning all we had to drink was beer. The only beer available was a brand whose name I forget but had the foulest taste.

The 101st Airborne Division who had a small base camp at the airfield was OK and didn’t cause us any trouble. The sergeant major responsible for security was ex British army. One of the medics doing his military service was also English. One came across the odd one here and there.

There was a team of Chinese doctors and nurses at the hospital on the far side of town. We had driven out there one day during a lull in the fighting. Nobody about in that part of town. Bloated pigs floating around a pond where the water was meant to come from.

Later during another offensive the Chinese (from Taiwan) were cut off and the military refused to rescue them and a volunteer team of American civilians went out to rescue them but fell into an ambush and one was killed. Lucky I wasn’t in town that day.

We began converting from Decca Mark 5 to the Decca Mark 12. The cental chain was already on this of course. Strangely it was also the beginning of the ene of our project. It was also the year when the Americans later would look back and say the end began then.

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