Vietnam

Cam Ranh Bay Air Base
1970-1971

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I added this map of Vietnam to show just where Cam Ranh Bay was located. I know that when I first got orders for South East Asia I had no idea where anything was. By the time I got to Cam Ranh, I had a much better concept. Cam Ranh Bay is in fact a huge bay on the coast, north of Saigon and south of Na Trang.

Below is a closeup of the bay showing that the air base was on the peninsula. The ocean was right across the street from the bomb dump. You can see from the picture below that the bomb dump was just about a large as all of the rest the air base. We had a lot of ammo stacked up in there.


When I was in processing, I was suffled to some clerk who looked at my papers and, while pecking away at a typewriter said, "Ammo guy, huh? I don't know why they sent you here." I said that I assumed they had quite a lot of ammo here. "Nope," he said, never skipping a beat on the keyboard of that old typewriter, "We have a chapel and we pray for peace."

This is the view out my front door. This is where we lived. Not bad for a war zone, huh? On the right is where I worked. Amidst rows and rows, tons and tons, of bombs. This is just part of one revetment. and we had a hell of a lot of revetments.

Down in the motorpool. We were constantly workin on our vehicles. Something was always breaking down.

 

Here are my buddies, Perotti and Conn. Perotti is riding on a CBU, I'm operating the crane. Conn is beating up the banding machine after we repackaged a CBU.

Riding in to the base from the bomb dump. Conn demonstrates the conversion from how we dressed and acted out there, were we on our own, to the base where we had to conform to the Air Force rules and regulations.

Our perimeter defenses. Standard position with Coke cans in the wire.

We would make runs up the coast to Nha Trang to deliver ammo to the firebase. Below are a few pictures taken along the way.

Below is another place I spent a lot of my time. This was what we called the flare pad, I think. We had revetments of boxes of aerial flares that had been damaged by water and time. We had to open all the boxes, inspect all the flares, reject the damaged ones and fix the ones we could. Then repackage them and send them back in country. Also, we did the same for a few thousand Cluster Bomb Units. A CBU is a fiberglass shell that is full of small, baseball-sized bomblets. When dropped, just after separation from the aircraft, the CBU splits in half spewing hundreds of these small bombs all over the target. Very effective.

We got to work under these roofs to keep the sun off of us. Below is one of the guys moveing a freshly refurbished pallet of flares. And on the right, the sergeants are looking at a few boxes of CBU's.

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