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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Private Enterprise: Vietnam notes & photos 1965 1975


Private Enterprise

Some of us went into private enterprise. I imagine it was against company policy and probably contravening local laws. A fellow I knew in the Bahamas on Green Station off Andros had run a rather successful craw fishing business until the boat sank and he lost all his investment and had problems with the local authorities.

I went into the theatre business. Perhaps wanting to know more about local culture. Quite what the Washington office would have thought of me driving our 3/4 ton back from Baria to Vung Tau in the dark after curfew with PB next to me and her rather attractive cousin next to her and some stage hands in the back I don't know.

The station head before John went into a car dealership. Another fellow in Vungtau was involved with a casino. A cartographer in Saigon who rented the house I would eventually stay in, had got involved in some black market deal also involving our secretary. She was saved by her powerful father who had probably got her the job in the first place, but the British Embassy got him out of the country just before the South Vietnamese police got hold of him.

The story I liked the best was at Green Station in Phan Thiet. Green always seemed to have problems. There was one fellow going around the airstrip one day, drunk, with a bottle of 'Mekong Whiskey' in his hand (local gut rot) trying to thumb a lift to Saigon. He had an advanced stomach cancer. Another couldn't go to work because of some social disease.

Anyway the local US commander in Phan Thiet had asked his Vietnamese counterpart to clear the town of brothels because they were having a bad effect on the morale or was it morality, of his troops. The Vietnamese officer duly did so and reported back that he had closed down all the brothels except that run by the US army. Furious the US commander investigated and found out that it was run by one of our Decca men.

I'm not stating it was Decca's fault the war was lost, but we did get some strange types there.


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