Don't Drink the Water

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 27, 2003.

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    dreamcatcher27371
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    (7/12/01 8:02:24 am)
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    DON’T DRINK THE WATER. Vietnam.

    My first assignment after checking into CTF-115 in Cam Ranh Bay was to the Coastal Surveillance Center at An Thoi, on Phu Quoc Island. Ownership of Phu Quoc Island has long been contested by Vietnam and Cambodia. This small island is the southern-most part of Vietnam, less than eleven miles from the coast of Cambodia and about 50 miles from mainland, Vietnam.
    To get to Phu Quoc I had to take a Caribou to Saigon and a Jolly Green Giant on to Phu Quoc. I laid over in Saigon for two nights and had an opportunity to visit a friend who was stationed at the Vietnamese Naval Shipyard as an advisor. This was my first trip to Saigon. What a city! Girls, bars, girls, bars; a never-ending trip through sailor heaven.
    I boarded the Jolly Green at Tan Son Nhat airport and had an uneventful flight across the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. From the air, the country was beautiful. The rivers gently snaked across the lush jungles below, beautifying an area that in reality was a well-concealed delta of death.
    Phu Quoc looked beautiful and inviting as I caught my first sight of the island from the door of the Jolly Green. It really is a beautiful place. The Jolly Green set down on the airstrip and its sole passenger, me, deplaned into the heat of An Thoi. The town that was previously a sleepy fishing village was now wide awake with navy Swift boats, a support ship, the coastal surveillance center, some U.S. Army troops and a handful of U.S. Air Force troops. There was also a P.O.W. compound that housed between thirty and forty thousand Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army POWs.
    I checked in and since I was a Chief, was assigned my own private room in one of the Quonset huts. I had a few beers, ate chow and then got down to the ritual of getting acquainted with my surroundings. The weather was extremely hot and I was drinking loads of water and taking my salt tablets like a good little boy. I even got a couple of glasses of ice and water when I wandered down through the little village.
    Later in the evening a good friend who was an advisor to the junk force on An Thoi stopped by and was giving me the skinny on the place. His first advice to me was, “Don’t drink the water.” Damn the bad luck. I had already had about a gallon. I was still feeling all right. I thought perhaps I had immunity from whatever little demons were lurking in the Phu Quoc water.
    I hit the sack and woke up refreshed. Home free, I thought. I was lying in bed, lit a cigarette and had the sudden urge to cut one of those great big sailor farts. I bore down to work one up that would wake the troops and blew foul-smelling watery stuff all the way to the inboard wall of my little room. I could feel the storm in my stomach brewing again and lit out for the head with a towel around my hips. Didn’t make it. As I rounded the walk in the homestretch to the head, I blew another stream of that putrid mess all over the plank walkway.
    I spent the entire day camped out in the head. The troops had a good laugh and my hootch maid said, “Mamasan no washee, Mamasan no washee.” I didn’t blame her.
    If you ever decide to visit Phu Quoc, take my advice:
    Don’t drink the water.



    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 854
    (7/12/01 8:08:31 am)
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    I thought I remembered Stan Lambert saying that you Navy guys had bottled water at your disposal.......I recall that it was Perrier.............? LOL!

    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 116
    (7/12/01 3:22:23 pm)
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    seems to me that I resemble that problem just a few weeks ago......


    Thanks for the memory....

    Oh... yeah.... us Army guys ALWAYS had that problem... but it wasn't the water.... it was those damn malaria pills!!! anyone remember those things????


    out...

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 7/12/01 4:23:48 pm

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 1146
    (7/17/01 9:18:18 am)
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    Hey Dave!...seems to me I recall seeing same-same at SaDec also. Also cases of 'Charmin' too...none of that quartering and pinchin out a hole stuff with them guys. Hehe! Ahhh! Me!
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Shadow
    Member
    Posts: 19
    (7/20/01 10:42:48 pm)
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    Should have stuck with the Beer!!!!! LOL
    Dan

    berto64
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    Posts: 8
    (8/14/01 9:03:15 pm)
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    Mithrandir,
    Do you mean the big pink lookin' ones or the little white ones ya had to take every? My 1st tour I took all them pills religiously, but after I extended I kind a figured I was a local by then. Knock wood, I never had any probs with that.
    Anybody familiar with a group of Mtns SW on Tay Ninh known as the Seven Sisters? My outfit had a searchlight at the SP
    Camp in the area,(can't remember names of places) and another about 1000 Meters from the Cabodian Border on Tin Binh hill.
    At Tin Binh, the Macv Teamhouse was at the bottom of the hill with a small compound, with another wire enclosure on top of the hill with ruff/puffs and our searchlight along with 1st Cav listening radar.
    I was pltn maintenance NCO and would periodically travel to field locations for repairs and service. Would also replace field personnel on R&R or whatever.
    One night was on top of the hill when sh_t started.
    The enemy was trying bangalore torpedoes in the wire, the whole bit. The sgt I was working with and I were both busy with our 16's when he grabbed my arm and said come on!
    The puff's had a 50 that wasn't working right , the puff
    was having to crank every round in, it wouldn't cycle.
    Steve & I ran over to it and found the headspace wrong.
    I had to pull my blouse off and unscrew the hot barrel out and back in to proper adjustment. The puff was happier'n hell then. Havin' the 50 working was a boost to all the puff's and kinda sounded good to me too.
    Next mornin' there were several unexploded bangalores in the wire, and a bucketload of the homemade C-rat can grenades that were duds.
    The compound at the bottom got hit the same night with no casualties.
    We had elements like this all over IV corp in sits just like this. The gooks had a bounty on crewmen and on our searchlights. Thanks for a place to put things like this.
    Berto











    Endeaver to Persevere

    Indybear57
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    Posts: 529
    (8/14/01 9:32:03 pm)
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    Berto-glad that you are comfortable enough with us to share. We'll welcome any additions you care to post. I said this to you under another topic, but you guys deserve all you can get; Welcome home and thank you for your service!

    Indybear

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 1437
    (8/15/01 6:13:50 am)
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    I worked along with the MAT's Berto and most of the R/P compounds didn't have 50's as perhaps III Corps...mostly 60's and even old 30's. Alot of them had the 60mm mortars rather than the 81's as well. In fact if a heavy weapons platoon of Ruffs were to be along for an OP's... they seemed to prefer the 60mm's since they were so much lighter. Our contacts were with VC Cadre mostly...they really didn't like mixin it up, prefering to collect the "tax" (bribes) and recruit instead.

    The RF's were better outfitted than the PF's. But as fighting units...nothing to boast of, but neither were some of the ARVN units. The Panther's were some of the finest ARVN units along with the Marines that worked on the VN Navy's version of the "Brown Water Navy". We pulled some Op's with them as a blocking element.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.