I was transferred to the 242nd ASHC around Oct 15? 1967 from the 205th ASHC. The 242nd was in Bein Hoa at the time. We lived in the town at a guarded compound (the old French buildings) right down town, with three men or more to a room, running water, sink, stool and all. I lived on the second floor of two, along the fence on the east side. I remember the lights didn't work very good, so I could hardly see to write letters home.
We would have to ride the trucks through the streets of Bein Hoa a few miles through town everyday out to the airfield. The 15 feet wide streets were congested with ox carts, bycicles, motor bikes, army trucks and jeeps, three wheeled taxis and hundreds of people walking up and down the streets. We would pass the market place everyday. You could buy just about anything under the sun there. They had little pigs already cooked whole, ducks the same way roasted,dead chickens hanging by their feet, meat laying right out in the sun covered black with flies. I worked on the night crew at flight line under a E-6 Anderson....others on the crew..were Bill Burns, Johnny Adams, Ed Stevenson, Wiley Snyder(Duke), E4 Ralph Cebron (CB), Bill Allen......Also I remember the monkey that lived up in the top of the hanger?.
I worked from 6 a.m. to 6-10 PM. They would bring the food out at noon and we ate on the flight line. Only a couple of my buddies came with me to 242nd, just Bill Burns, Jim Canada, so we had to make some new friends. As for the company I can't say as I cared for it to much at the time......some of the boys were all from the south and they would go around saying things like "the South shall rise again" and some of them wore or had a rebel flag. Being from Michigan, I didn't care for it much .....but now I live in Southern Missouri on a cattle ranch.......*S* and have my own rebel yell!!!!...LOL!
I remember we had a party, a USO show,the whole company didn't have to work,lots of beer in a trailer filled with ice....steaks on a open fire..there was a band from the Philippines which was made up of 4 girls playing drums, gutiars. They really looked good to me. At least they had some meat on their bones not like the "Gooks" girls around there. Anyways the lead singer was a little girl about 12 years old who sang lots of songs, like the Rolling Stones, Animals, "House of the Rising Sun." I think it was one of the best known song's all over Nam because every band I saw over there played it at least two times.... lol! Well during the end of the show, some of the boys started shouting to play "Dixie" and I was starting to get mad I was going to show them just how the south lost the war all over again, (must have been drUnk!)....*S* But then they started playing "Yankee Doodle" and all kinds of statehood songs and the last song they played was "America Land that I love" and everyone stood up and sang loud and strong. All of a sudden I wasn't mad anymore, cold chills ran up and down my back because I know now that, it is the best place on earth(America), and I thank God that I was blessed enough to have been born in such a wonderful place and with such a great family. I was also glad that we had a chance to fight for it in a small way, like many men before us to keep it the way it is. As I stood there I could feel tears running down my face, but I wasn't ashamed because I believed in the words of the song and for what we stand for, besides I wasn't the only (boy) there who did. I think most everyone felt the same way I did. As soon as it was over I went and checked the mail and a letter from home was there about lots of goods things at home ...and I felt better about Vietnam..........
I also remember one night when a black guy shot another guy in the thigh with a M16 over a card game,(Spades) I think?. The one that got shot called the other one a card cheat... so he didn't say a word.... just stood up and shot him. He when up to Jack's room, above the Orderly Room, after the shooting - with his weapon, as I recall. He gave the weapon to Jack's roommate, and I think he stayed there until the MP's came for him. They took him to LBJ (Long Bin Jail) where he stayed for 4 or 5 weeks. Then they returned him to work in the tool room, on the flight line. I use to know his name but can't remember now. The other guy got a free trip back to the world.
CU CHIthen before we moved to Cu Chi...I was send there two help build the barracks for the rest to come later.......I think we were there a month or so before they moved the choppers ..........I remember the tanks (185's) and where they were at over by the 25th.. they shot for 36 hours we couldn't sleep and everything rattled on to the floor......Bill Burns and I walked down there and took a look at them that day.......I lived in the last building up towards the motor pool......on the way to the Club. Our building took a hit from a shell,(106-RR) on Feb.18, 1968....wounded 8.......I was one of them!............a few days before that two Muleskinners were KIA and a few more wounded....we had a service for them !!!!!!!.....we had 40 rockett attacks in 28 days, the month of Feb 1968 (TET)..... I did pull guard duty at times,at Cu Chi on the perimiter,carrying an M16 (I qualified with an M14)in the bunker left and next to the command bunker, a CONEX container, surrounded by sandbags. A 50 Cal machine gun was on the roof, nobody knew how to fire it, each bunker had a box of hand grenades, M60 inside or on top and an M-79 grenade launcher,looked like a big oversized break open shotgun....*S*. They were long nights. I remember some of the guys smoking grass during the night - something new to me at the time. Most of the time we laid on top of the bunker with a starscope looking at the perimiter, because it was to hot inside to sleep (we changed every two hours) every once in a while a trip flare would go off and and my heart would jump....one night the Cong tried to come thru the fence down by the sheetmetal shop where Jack worked . ...there was land lines layed from bunker to bunker with a open line to the command CONEX post......I can think of one rocket(122mm) that hit right(maybe ten feet) in front of the next bunker over to the left and the dirt and smoke went right in the M-60 window.......I was on top of my bunker and had the phone to my hear......the guys were screaming over the land line, that they were being GASSED!!!!!... and a Captain with a cool easy voice from the command bunker says... "Well! if you are being gassed?...maybe you better put on your Gas Mask!"...........lol!
If you think of any names or have a story to tell and would like it on the 242nd page send it to me and I will put it up ....I'll put your name in lost and found and maybe we will get lucky........lol! If you remember anything more about your time in the 242nd ...write it down and send it along......I need help with this homepage
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Some of this information was from Jack Carswell....
who worked in the sheetmetal shop down on the flight line.