Saigon Cowboys

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

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    nighthawk
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 240
    (8/17/01 1:36:04 pm)
    | Del All Saigon Cowboys
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    I assume most of you that spent time around a town of any size came into contact with, or heard about "cowboys". It was a very serious problem around Saigon. For those who don't know what they were, they were gangs of Vietnamese youths, mostly riding small motorcycles(usually 2 on a bike), who terrozied people, living by stealing, assulting, black market, anything to make a buck. They were very violent and, in my experience, never showed a bit of compassion, even for their own counteryman. Some of them were deserters, some just juvinile delinquets, all punks.
    One of our guys was returning from the PX at Cholon by taxi. He took the "back road" that was somewhat deserted compared to the main streets because it saved a few "P". A bunch of cowboys surrounded his cab at a traffic light, drug him out, beat the crap out of him, and stole all his purchases. He had just bought a small TV, a tape deck, and a nice Nikon camera. The cab took off as soon as they had dragged him out. He was found in a ditch beside the road by some MPs,,,
    The local police (White Mice) told the MPs they had been trying to catch this group for some time but they had not been able to,,, maybe lf they got out of the police station and went out and looked?? Anyway, the MPs (and I think CID) got involved. The MP that had found our guy came and ask us if we wanted to help catch the cowboys by acting as bait. (I must admit here, none of us were real hot on the idea)
    They told us that most of the MPs in the area were known by the cowboys(they could see who patroled the road everyday), so we agreed. Also, they wanted those of us who had motorbikes. The cowboys attacked bike riders so they could steal the bike as well as anything else. All we had to do was go to the PX, get some kind of package, and come back along the back road, while the MPs and the White Mice waited.
    Well, I took my friend Pete with me, we rode over, got a big empty box from the PX manager that was for a Teac tape deck, then rode back. We saw the cowboys, but they left us alone. A little later, an E-7 programmer (a story on his own, I'll tell later) rode his Vespa scooter over and back. This time the cowboys came rushing out at him, trying to get him to wreck his bike ( a common trick,,they would grab what they could to include the bike if possible, then ride off). This time, the MPs were ready,,they charged out in front and behind the cowboys. Caught 6 or 8,,probably that many got away. After thay had apprehended them, I guess the White Mice finally came over and arrested them and took them away. don't know what happened to that group, but we never saw them around after that. Plus, I guess the word got out. It got a little safer to go to the PX then. Not totaly safe,,just safer,,,

    A passing memory,,,,

    Stan H,, nighthawk

    PS,,for those wondering,,we were not supposed to carry loaded arms of post, plus, if anyone had shot a civilian around Saigon, there would have been hell to pay. (anywhere else for that matter, I think) ,,, would have been happy to put a cap into a few of those punks,,,,,no such luck,,(hope the anti-gun folks don't read this,,,lol)

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 1028
    (8/17/01 2:49:28 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Saigon Cowboys
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    I didn't spend much time in Saigon but the few times I was there I saw the cowboys. I also saw them wearing issue flight gloves made of nomex, jackets, and issue sun glasses. All these things we COULDN'T get because of the corruption going on in the black market at the docks.......the little RAT BASTIDS.....and all the rest of the RAT BASTIDS that farged around in the black market.

    dreamcatcher27371
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 172
    (8/17/01 3:26:02 pm)
    | Del Re: Saigon Cowboys
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    My last tour was in Saigon so I'm familiar with the "Saigon Cowboys." Our Commander (Light Col. for you army folks) was driving from VNN HQ over to MACV in a jeep when one of the cowboys pulled alongside on his little motor thingy, reached in and grabbed the Commander's watch. The Cdr just reached over, grabbed the guys wrist, floor-boarded the jeep and drug him down the street for awhile (without his bike) before letting go. I had what I considered a close call walking down near the statue of Tran Hung Dao with my girlie friend. This wasn't a 'cowboy' but a drunken VN soldier. He walked up to us, pulled a .45 out and pointed it straight at my face. (They didn't care for us dating their women). I think my language proficiency got me out of that one. I told him something along the lines of "If you're gonna shoot you better shoot quick because I'm gonna beat you to death." As soon as he heard me speaking Vietnamese he hauled ass. Scared the crap out of me though. I just didn't want to die by the hand of some drunken "ally." The girl didn't know him either...he was just drunk and wanted to terrorize a round-eye. Dangerous place that Saigon!!

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 1481
    (8/18/01 6:27:17 pm)
    | Del cowboys
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    Lost my watch to em maybe two weeks in country at Camn Ranh Catch...no one told the 'cherrie' to keep his arms inside the cyclo.

    When coming out of the bush to the large compounds...at Provence MACV SaDec as well, altho much tinier...unless you had to be going in and out the gate alot that day...you were required to check in your weapon!!! I hated that crap!!!

    Out in the villes and hamlets we were 'locked and loaded' usualy on Safe but not required, as I'm sure everyone else was too. The streets of SaDec and CaoLanh and other more substantial size towns...we carried our weapons...on Safe... but locked and loaded.

    The point being...Cowboys didn't mess with an armed GI.

    You said it all about them gangster punks Hawk!

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