Sunday, October 21, 2007

In order to tell them apart I named them, ( from left to right) Moe, Larry and Papa Sahn. It wasn't done in disrespect. Moe is one I never trusted. I had to accompany them wherever they went while inside our compound. When assigning the work to the 3 people, even though the others understood, I had to tell Papa-Sahn, who would assign the same work that I just did. This was done out of respect to the eldest ! Little different in the U.S.A., huh ?


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Super Towers

These bunkers were lovingly called "Super Towers". The view was fabulous, but for some reason the exposure took away the panoramic beauty. Let me try to explain. Looking at it now,one would think, Boy, I'll bet he was able to get a nice view and he certainly did, but he made one great target!...... The treeline to the right of the picture was almost a click away. Klick= Kilometer or 1,000 meters and yes, close enough to be hit by a Sniper. NVA and Viet Cong did have some good shooters (some). There's a book out now which I believe is called "Marine Corps Sniper" which tends to tell the tale of Gy/Sgt Carlos Hatchcock whom I think had 93 confirmed kills. Gunney Hatchcock was only one of many great guys that saved the lives of many of our Troops over there. It makes for interesting reading.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Hooch, the Bunker & me.

Couple items I'd like to point out. I. If you notice on the roof are sandbags, it's not because some Marine had 1 too many, it's serves as a practical function. It holds the roof down in the winds of the Monsoons. Each bag has a cord tied on it with another bag on the other side. II. This is the bunker we used when the sirens went off usually during the night. We scooped up all our gear( Rifle,ammo,flak jacket,helmet,clothing & boots, 782 or Webbed gear ) and beat it to this bunker where we got dressed. We piled all these articles together before we went to sleep. III. The sandals I'm wearing were called Ho Chi Mihn Sandals. We bought them from the locals and were made from tires. I brought them home with me and not only did they last the remainder of my tour in the Marine Corps, but I had them at home and my wife kept asking me when I was going to get rid of those God-awful things. One day they went missing ! Wonder what happened ?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Curly, Larry & Moe

Curly, Larry & Moe isn't meant to be a degrading remark. It's the way I could tell them appart. These 3 locals were allowed to work on the base, but had to have a Marine guard with them at all times................... If I wanted something done, I couldn't tell them all. I had to tell Papa-sahn, to the right as we look at the picture, whom in turn would assign the jobs. It was done as a matter of respect. Moe & Larry I trusted. Curly, I had no trust in whatsoever. I would try to give them small articles of food or nails, objects that meant nothing to us but the world to them. I would escourt them to the roadpost so they wouldn't be searched by the other Marines. These people were so poor they couldn't pay attention !

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Just a beautiful picture ! ( I didn't take this )

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Real Bed !

Other then the 1st Hospital this is the only real bed I saw in our Battalion area. It belonged to Cpl. "Shorty" Whitaker. It was his 2nd tour in Vietnam. I have no idea how he came about getting it, so don't ask. That little TV atop the hotlocker was real, I guess , I never saw it on. Armed Forces Radio is the only entertainment we had and yes, every morning there was a voice that started the broadcasting day with Gooooooooood morning, Vietnam ! Then played the song "It's a beautiful morning !" You felt like throwing something at it. (Robin Williams played in that movie about Nam where he played the part of the DJ that actually said those words.....Goooood morning, Vietnam.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Sight for sore eyes

When I was in Battalion Area, this was my corner of the world. A bit Spartan, but nevertheless, a place to lay your head. A brief explanation might be in order of what exactly you're looking at.

On the left was my towel drying out.

That white bag was my laundry bag. All dirty clothes.

That Metal tray was our Mess Tray with utensils, (that's what we ate off)

The Jacket hanging is my Flak Jacket or (Body Armor) as it was called by some.

The shelf above the cot was were we kept some small articles. Talcum powder, foot power, insect repellent and a can of WD-40 ( Only thing that would keep our weapons from rusting overnight, because of high humidity, then Monsoons) When I first arrived in Vietnam we only had one can of WD-40 for the 8 guys in our Hooch & kept it under lock and key. Then everyone was writing home and most people had it. Not being a Military oil we weren't allowed to use it. Everyone turned their heads, cuz it worked so well & still does. I must have a dozen cans in my house.

The cot below was an air mattress on a canvas cot, covered with a wool blanket. You were so tired you'd be able to sleep anywhere. In this picture the Mosquito net wasn't in place, but was often used.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Better View

Click on pictures to enlarge. A much better view of the Bay of DaNang. You can see the ships out there from this view. One was the Battleship New Jersey which did fire missions for us. It's said that it's guns can fire a shell the weight of a Volkswagen 21 miles with accuracy. I can't verify it. Maybe one of our Naval Comrades can shed some light on that subject. What do they mean by accuracy? + or- 500 meters ? I don't recall if the New Jersey was there when I took this picture, but it was there during my tour. The Hospital Ship "Hope" was also there, but farther out to sea.

Ammo Bunkers

Nice view of the Ammo Bunkers. Center of picture is an Army E.O.D. Unit. Don't remember what the acronym stands for but it has something to do with Explosives. Notice how the Army circled their huts in a 360. They just can't get away from what they did with the wagons ! Sorry guys, I just had to get that in !

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Click to enlarge this picture. When you look at those mountains, the clouds, the scenery, it is beautiful. The name of our camp was called Camp Love, no joke. Named after the first Marine from 7th Engineer Battalion who was killed here. I thought it was ironic then and even more so now.......Camp Love.......

In Shape

Between the heat and humidity, the type of work we were doing at the time. I could have eaten 3,500 calories a day and not gained weight I'll guarantee you that I was a lot heavier when I got there

Friday, September 23, 2005

Facing Route 1

Our eastern perimeter facing Route 1 which is hard to see in this picture, but was one of the main arteries in Vietnam. You had to put rocks in your pockets before the mosquitoes carried you away. One night I heard voices and looked outside and saw two mosquitoes , one was 3 ft. tall, the other about two. The smaller one said to the bigger one. "Should we eat him here or take him in the woods ? The larger one said , we better eat him here, 'cuz if we take him in the woods the big ones will get him ! "

Our Back Yard

Just a brief shot of the back of our huts. The Battalion was very big but we confined ourselves to this area. Nice hike over those mountains, I have a hard time making it to the front door now !

The Virtual Wall

The Virtual Wall is a link for those individuals that would be interested in searching the wall for names of loved ones or anyone that might be willing to see what and how much work has gone into the Wall itself and the people who contributed to web sites and the thousands of hours involved. These are actual pictures that were taken and put into these web sites. Then you can get a rubbing on a post card as a gift to anyone that might be interested. Please be advised: This author receives no renumeration from pointing out these sites.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Paradox

I didn't think too much of this picture when I took it. As I get older and more mellow this has become my favorite. There are two signs there written in English and Vietnamese that says " "Danger !" Stop...Stay out ! This field is mined ! and it was, we had the map hidden in the Roadpost. When you see that beautiful sunrise, the mountains and tress and two signs stating impending death, it's a Sad Paradox.

Darlene and Scott

My first wife and first son. He was 3 mo old. We had two more sons and a daughter. How time flies !

20 Dong Note

Came across this bill as I was going through my album. Now listen to this ! You listening ? $1.00 = 15,849 Vietnamese Dong as of Sept. 2005

Jim-Old beyond his age

Tim and Jim always called me Jackie-sahn and asked before they took anything. I think I made a mistake when Jim asked me if he could have one of my Camels. I thought he'd take a puff, choke on it and never ask again. Boy ! Was I wrong. Everytime I'd look he'd have one of my cigarettes in his mouth. As I get older and have 5 Grand-Children of my own. I think about them a lot and wonder if I'd ever be able to bring them back to the world and what would become of them after an education. I guess this is something I'll never know.

Tim and Jim

These were 2 of the nicest, most polite children I knew. I never saw them with shoes and they wore the same clothes everyday and not once did I ever hear them say " I'm Bored " or "How about driving me to the mall ?" I pulled guard duty all night, took a shower, grabbed a bite to eat and then had guard duty on the road post. Needless to say I was tired. I fell asleep standing up taking a shower. When I would go in the road post to get out of the sun, Hmmm! Tim & Jim would tell me when a vehicle was coming and for that I'd give them a whole $.05 I loved those kids !........ If they are alive today they would be in their 40's. Shortly after this picture was taken, I shipped out. I never saw them again. ---Jack--- As a point of interest: In Vietnamese Culture, when a male child was born they would dress him as a girl, long hair, earrings and all. The reason: A male child was worth more then a female. By dressing the male as a female the evil spirits would be fooled and not do any harm to the child. Also, upon entering any Vietnamese house or building there would be a mirror placed straight ahead where you couldn't help but see yourself. Reason: If an evil spirit entered the building, it would see itself in the mirror, get scared and leave without entering the house.


Rocket and Mortar craters.....Booby Traps.....Barped Wire. Don't walk through with bare feet. Better yet, don't walk through ! Picture was taken in the general area that was the impact zone from a Rocket attack that hit us the prior night. It appears they were trying to hit Force Logistics Command (FLC) which was a storage depot for much of our material ( I Corps Material) and wandered off course.

Da Nang from afar

From this picture Da Nang seems to be app. 12 to 15 miles away as the crow flies. You can see the white sand starting early on quite far from the water. I have no explanation. Viet Nam was a beautiful country of many contrasts. Mountains, sand, ocean, jungle. The jungle was so heavy in some places it had triple canopy. It had 3 layers of vegetation where it would be impossible to see the ground from the air, thus the reason for Agent Orange to defoliate so our pilots could see better. I know this isn't spoken of much, however Viet Nam had many natural resources. Rubber, sugar, oil, minerals, rice, lumber et al. Probably the reason so many countries wanted this piece of property. China, Japan, France, America, just to name a few.

Always need repair

Nice view of one of our bunkers in need of repair. If the bags that are falling down are let go, the sheer weight of the top sandbags will cause them all to collapse. The damaged area has to be stripped completely and built back up with new sandbags the way the front of the bunker has been done. Of course no-one wanted to do it because it was hard work, however it was also our protection. The sandbags on the roof are there to hold the tin roof down during the Monsoons. 2 Bags were tied together with a piece of rope app. 5 or 6 feet long and slung over the peak. 1 bag on each side. More were added during the Rainy season.

View from OutPost #3

A nice view from Outpost # 3 (OP #3). The camera is sitting on the sandbags. Below are Ammo Bunkers which are naturally filled with Ordinance. The Mountain to the right is where we received most of our sniper activity from. We even had the Grid co-ordinates written down and I believe the Gunships from Da Nang known this route by heart. The sad part is even though you could see a muzzle flash, we had to call Battalion to get permission to open fire.

Overview-- Bay of DaNang

Once again I show an overview of 7th Engrs. with the Bay of Da Nang in the background. The city of Da Nang proper is over the Mountain to the right. As the ground gets closer to the bay you can see that beautiful white sand which is really pristine.


A nice shot overlooking our Battalion area. Those white marks are where it stuck to the album when I took it out. The pictures were in there almost 30 yrs. and I'm surprised they lasted that well. When I went through a divorce is when she handed it to me. The area on the far left is Hoi Von Pass, where we usually got all our rocket and mortor fire from.

Beautiful but Deadly

You could almost say it was a beautiful place,--and it was ! If there just wasn't a war going on. That kinda spoiled it all !

The Mule

Overlooking 7th Engr. Bn., we see some Marines using what's called A Mule. Looks like a Jeep with no body. The original purpose of this vehicle was to transport A 105mm recoilless Rifle. That was a piece of Artillery without a kick and was capable of getting anywhere quickly to supply support.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Safety of the Bunker

Good shot of our bunker. One for each hut or "Hooch" The huts normally held 8 Marines and it was a constant job keeping them in repair. There is an entrance at each end of the bunker as there is a door likewise on each hooch. It took us a matter of seconds to get in there once the sirens went off.

Me and Larry

One of the better of the 3 Vietnamese work crew I had to guard while they were on base. I trusted him more so then the others.

Looking West

From Battalion area looking west. At night we kept LP's or Listening Posts in these Mts. 1 Marine and a radio. His job was to report any unusual activity or noises he heard. Orders were "Not to engage the enemy"