Sunday, 21 January 2018
The Two Colonels: Notes and photos Vietnam 1965 1975
The Two Colonels
I have mentioned earlier that we had two colonels living in the camp. One was the adviser to Provincial Headquarters, and the other ran the US camp at Van Kiep. We were under the latter. The provincial adviser was old army and I doubt if I said two words to him the whole time I was there. He hated the camp commander who was a member of one of America's minorities. I found him very decent and got on very well with him. He only used his authority on me once when after some row with my girl friend in Vung Tau I had ridden a motor scooter up to the base at about ten o'clock in the evening. I was none too sober and he wouldn't let me drive back to Vung Tau at midnight.
What usually happened was life in a small camp depended on the colonel's tastes. If the colonel drank everybody drank, if the colonel didn't drink, nobody did. If the colonel required everybody to use the rifle range everybody did. I'm sure I became a much better shot there than I ever did in the army. We certainly had a much wider choice of weapons to choose from.
Anyway there was an incident involving our colonel, his sergeant, who belonged to yet another minority, and two female Vietnamese soldiers. The colonel who was the provincial adviser broke our colonel, and I believe destroyed his career, who was replaced by another old army colonel.