I had just arrived in Nam Phong sometime in June 1972. The Seabees
were building hootches for the office personnel to process all the
I am taken to our shop sight out to the end of the northern end of the
runway, out by the bomb dump. The first thing we are told to do was
start laying aircraft matting. It got impossible to position the lox
plants and storage trailers when it rained and turned the ground to red
So here are about ten of us laying the most heavy and cumbersome stuff
I had ever lifted. Pinched fingers, mashed toes and cuts, etc. 100%
humidity and 100 degrees. Man, it was miserable.
All of a sudden we see this deuce and a half come up and out get a
couple of Seabee's. They ask us if we're cryogenics and we say," yeah."
So they ask us if they lay our aircraft matting would we cool down
their beer? Well, we sure as he!! weren't going to say no.
They leave and come back in about an hour with three six by's, a
forklift and about eight Seabees. We ask what can we do to help and
they say just stay out of their way.
They proceeded to lay almost all the matting we had in about five hours
where it would have taken us twenty.
So while they were doing that we got a jump on setting the plants up
to get running the next day. After the day was done we cooled down,
I don't remember how much beer.
That night we all sat around the tent getting drunk and trading
stories. Made some really good friends that day. Wish I could remember
their names but time erases such.