Can Tho Discussion

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Perimeter guard duty in April of 1968

From: Jim Banning
Date: 04 Jul 1999
Time: 06:59:42
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When I first got to Can Tho in March of 1968, I was awakened one morning for KP duty. I said to the guy waking me up, "How can I have KP? This is Vietnam!!" He told me that a lot of the Vietnamese help was gone since Tet because they were either afraid of Charlie's influence or they were under suspicion. As I recall, I only pulled KP a couple of times before things returned to "normal".

During that first year (I was there from March of 1968 until April of 1970, which I suspect might be the record for the Can Tho Commcenter), we had to pull guard duty along the perimeter behind the Commcenter. In April of 1968, that involved sitting in a mudhole all night long. When it rained, you just pulled your poncho over you. Our guard posts stretched from the right side of the commcenter (when you faced the front door) up to about where the mess hall was in 1970. We would be excused from work at about 3 in the afternoon, stand guard inspection and then stand guard duty all night. The next day, we had to report back to duty in the Commcenter in the afternoon. Those were some long nights. By the time I left in April of 1970, the mud holes had been replaced by guard "towers". The one behind the Commcenter was about 10 feet off the ground, while at least one of the others was 20 feet.


Last changed: May 13, 2001