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Sunday In Germany: Drunk In Nha Trang

by Ken Yeager (ACS)

Never made it to Vung Tau, but spent a drunken weekend in Nha Trang with some other kids (normally I would withhold names to protect people, but frankly, I can’t remember who was there and no, it is not because I was in a total drunken state that I have forgotten).

As an employee of the PX at the airbase at Tan Son Nhut I was the designated booze buyer which I did by getting some of the GIs to make purchases for me… thinking back, I guess I bought nothing but the cheapest booze available.

I do remember the beaches but not much else (come on, its age, damn it!!!).

While a GI and stationed at Long Binh (1968-69), I confessed to my unit CO (Signal Officer – again no names) that I knew Saigon very well so I became his designated driver whenever he wanted to visit his USO sweetie in Saigon. We would arm ourselves to the teeth, take the jeep and drive down the Binh Hoa highway to Saigon where I would drop him off at his sweetie’s flat just off the Rue To Do about half way between the Continental Hotel and the Place where To Do split to go around the cathedral. Then I would park the jeep at that BOQ (Bachelor’s Officer’s Quarters) behind the old parliament building, catty corner from Cheap Charlie’s restaurant… got it?

I was then free to wander around on my own, still packing a .38 on my hip. Finding a place to sack out was at times a bit of a problem but I always managed to find somewhere to sleep.

I always enjoyed this trip as it got me off the base at Long Binh and I got a few decent meals at some of the old places (Cheap Charlie’s, the floating restaurant and another just off the Rue To Do where they used to serve the best fried crab claws).

Sunday PM it was pick up the Major and head back to the base. I know that some of my Army buddies resented my time in Saigon, but hey, was it my fault I knew my way around.

Anyone remember sitting on the Rue To Do, having something to drink and bird watching? Or eating fried noodles at that little restaurant on a corner of To Do where they had a juke box?

Gosh, those were some fun times… Glad I got to experience them and meet some great kids (today – grandparents).

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3 comments to Sunday In Germany: Drunk In Nha Trang

  • Larry Lindquist

    Ken,

    I was one of the “kids” on at least one of the trips to Nha Trang. I know we were together on the first trip. We met a great group of Air Force advisors who treated us to beach parties and a trip out into the bay to go snorkeling; although, I don’t recall us having snorkels. I do remember well the aftermath of the boat trip as I returned to Saigon with sunburn poisoning.

    I remember many of those with us on the trip. Be glad to jog your memory. I don’t know if you recall the incident on the plane as we were taxiing out to leave Ton Son Nhut – one of our burly companions removed one of the windows from the C-47 and almost did not replace it by the time we reached the runway. An exciting way to start a great getaway holiday.

    You also introduced me to motorcycles with your DKW. I ended up purchasing a Honda 90 which I brought back to the states. We had some exciting times cruising around Saigon.

    Glad to hear that you are still out there. I have been wondering on how to find the good friends that I made and then lost as we scattered throughout the U.S. I am extremely appreciative of those who started and continue this and related sites. A heartfelt thank you.

    Larry

  • Larry Lindquist

    Ken,

    I think part of my memory is good and another part is confused. It just struck me that when it came to the DKW, it was actually Ken Berger. But I do think you and I were together for one of the trips to Nha Trang, unless I am totally confused.

    Larry

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Larry, must have been Ken Berger. I didn’t have a DKW in Saigon…had a green Puch motorbike and then later a red Honda 90. I can’t find you in my 1961-62 Gecko and I regret to say I don’t recall your name either, sorry. As for the trip to Nha Trang, if my memory serves me correctly, the trip was on Air Vietnam, not a military flight. One the other hand, it was so damn long ago…I do wish I could remember more but such is life in the fast lane. Take care.

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