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From: Bob Payette, HHC, 13th CAB
Date: 28 Feb 2000
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
When my DEROS arrived (end of December, 1965) there didnít appear to be a formal transportation method to get to Saigon for the ride back to the world. I was told to go the airfield and hitch a ride in, which I didnít think would be much of a problem since there was a lot of stuff going back & forth to Saigon. Well, as it turns out there were no US assets flying that way, and I ended up flying there in a single engine recon plane piloted by a local . My first impression was that he was flying a lot lower then our guys normally did, and the second impression was that he seemed to be circling around a lot peering intently out the window. My gut feeling was that he had not made this run too many times and we were lost, and my efforts at conversation were met with a very broad smile and some guttural ďOK, Saigon #1Ē stuff that made me very nervous. I think I had visions of a crash and burn on the day I was supposed to be on the way out and that did not make me feel warm and fuzzy . Needless to say my worries were unfounded. He found the airfield, we bounced in and I made my connection with the Pan American charter. Not knowing any better (even though my travel voucher said it was definitely verboten) we had a Walther P38 and a Reuger 357 in our checked luggage and there was no problem with them either there or in Oakland. How the times have changed ! Bob Payette, HHC, 13th CAB.