Pg. Road To Saigon Now 1968
Having Resigned From The Boeing Aircraft Co. What To Do Next..??
I Answer an add in the Local Seattle Newspaper --- HELP WANTED --- Aircraft Mechanics --- Location Republic of South Vietnam.... After my interview I go downtown and get a US PASSPORT and Recieve Travel Orders Which Authorize Travel Via Military MACV Aircraft. With suitcase in hand and Tool-Box in Tow (Be sure YOU have all necessary tools -- There is NO Sears in Saigon) I head for TRAVIS A.F.B. a short bus-ride from San Francisco, Calif.
Upon arriving at Travis AFB and checking in at the processing office, I'm told to Find the C-141 Starlifter on the Flight-Line Fueling up and preparing to Go -- Direct To Saigon --... It's quite a long flight across the Pacific to Saigon approx. 7800 miles.. So we have Fueling & Hamburger Stops at Hawaii, Guam Is., The Phillipine Is., and Finally a short hop of 1200 miles to Tan-San-Nuht Airfield just adjacent to Saigon...
Upon landing at Tan-Son-Nuht and spending the night at a Saigon hotel doing some Personell Processing I am told to catch a C-143 Transport (above right) and head to Qui Nhon City where there is a Huey Repair Depot... This is to be my home for the next year...
For HAM RADIO OP's. who may be reading this.... Before leaving state-side I Wrote a letter to -- Vietnam United States Ambassador in California -- Requesting Permission to take a HAM RADIO along to Vietnam. Permission was Granted and I carried a Certified Letter with me in hopes that OPERATING Priviledges may be granted during my adventure.. Unfortunately I Left Country B-4 the Guys over at Saigon got Vietnam operating Licenses... )--- : .... It was kinda NEAT SWL--ing thou to SEE who the ** BIG GUNS ** were with signals coming outta the U.S.A. .... !!!!!
As seen in the Pic., Qui Nhon City is setting right on the coast-line of the So. China Sea. The airfield is kinda hard to see in the pic. however it starts on the beach and goes directly thru the center of the city... Here civilians live in town, usually finding LiL apt. style housing. The other pic. is a typical day at the office for some G.I.'s hitching a ride on a HUEY... Notice the GI setting by the back door.... There's another on the other side... Both having 30 cal. machine guns LOCKED & LOADED for obvious reasons......
After a year up North at Qui Nhon I am asked to Go to Bein Hoa Field which is about 30 miles North of Saigon. This is where the Fixed Wing aircraft are maintained such as the below pictured Beechcraft. At Bein Hoa the civilians live On-base & bunk in Hooches and Dine with the G.I.'s .. The other pic. below is a Boeing CHINOOK CH-47 bringing in a Bell HUEY UH-1 for some T.L.C. ... Co-incidently, I find out later my cousin Mervil is Chief Pilot of a C-141 flying BOB HOPE & His group of Entertainers around Vietnam for the USO shows.
Having been IN-COUNTRY now for 2 years my signed contract is up. Time to head back State-Side --- Certainly has been a learning experience to say the least..!!! The folks in the Good Ole USA don't realize how great things are compared to what's happening over in this part of the World...!!!
Rice-Paddy-Stew-&-Saigon-Tea Vietnam Medic -Doc. Pardue
Vietnam Huey Storys From Military Aviation - HUEY
The Virtual Wall Img. NO Click
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall = The Virtual Wall = This is NOT a 5 Minute LINK -- Be Prepared to spend some EXTRA TIME...