Sunday, November 12, 2017

Serving in Vietnam - Saigon

I enjoyed my job in Don Duong, and nobody was shooting at me, so I volunteered to stay an extra six months beyond my required year.  I also wanted to be a captain, so the promotion and Vietnam tour extension necessitated my signing up for a third year in the army beyond my required (from ROTC) two years.  My extra six months in Vietnam earned me a free transportation 30-day excursion anywhere in the world, so I chose to go to Europe.  I received my promotion orders on the way through Cam Ranh Bay, pinned on my captain’s bars, flew to Saigon, where I spent a day sightseeing while waiting for a flight, then flew to Bangkok.  After a couple hours there, I flew to New Delhi India, the Istanbul airport, then to London.

Serving in Vietnam - Nha Trang

Each month I had to go to Nha Trang to pick up the payroll. I usually traveled by myself. It took me most of a day to get there and a day to get back.

Serving in Vietnam --Cam Ranh Bay Headquarters

I first landed at Cam Ranh Bay.

Serving in Vietnam - Building a Road

We built roads and bridges. We were not in the combat area.

Serving in Viet Nam -- Dalat

I occasionally traveled to Dalat, another of the very nicest Vietnamese cities, which was a little higher in the mountains northwest of Don Duong.  The temperature in our area was hot, but it was still a lot cooler than down in the coastal areas.  After an excursion to Cam Ranh Bay we always enjoyed returning to the mountains.  I spent my last couple months with another engineering battalion at Phu Bai in the north, near the old imperial capital of Hue.

Serving in Viet Nam - Travel

I was next assigned to be the battalion’s civilian personnel officer (CPO).  We hired a lot of native Vietnamese to help in our road building.  I was in charge of hiring them and paying them monthly.  I had to travel to Nha Trang, north of Cam Ranh Bay and one of the nicest Vietnamese cities, each month to pick up the payroll.

Serving in Vietnam- Villages

Vietnam Villages I Visited

Central area