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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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Going Home. The last to leave.
Old 12-30-2018, 03:34 PM   #61
JOHN JONES
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Default Going Home. The last to leave.

The trophy weapon that CPT Zec has in his hands, in the photo taken at Camp Alpha. Believe his is the same as mine and that while commonly referred to as an SKS, is really a Chinese copy, properly referred to as a “CHICOM TYPE 56” or CKC. However I most often refer to mine as an SKS, and then say it is a copy of a Soviet SKS.
This photo is of me at Can Tho with my legal “bring-back” weapons; a K-54 pistol & SKS. FYI: Got the pistol at FSB Cai Cai from a SF MSG & the SKS from CW2 Phenice (sp?), one of the OH-58 “Bartender” pilots. Note: Still have them both & still shoot them about once a year. John Harris.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:37 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN JONES View Post
The trophy weapon that CPT Zec has in his hands, in the photo taken at Camp Alpha. Believe his is the same as mine and that while commonly referred to as an SKS, is really a Chinese copy, properly referred to as a “CHICOM TYPE 56” or CKC. However I most often refer to mine as an SKS, and then say it is a copy of a Soviet SKS.
This photo is of me at Can Tho with my legal “bring-back” weapons; a K-54 pistol & SKS. FYI: Got the pistol at FSB Cai Cai from a SF MSG & the SKS from CW2 Phenice (sp?), one of the OH-58 “Bartender” pilots. Note: Still have them both & still shoot them about once a year. John Harris.
+1. Really nice!
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Leave it as you found it.
Old 01-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #63
JOHN JONES
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'Me with a Bud in the 18th CAC Officer's Day Room. On the wall is what I recall to be the mission board which if I remember correctly, we would check each night, to see what our aircraft, crew, mission and show time would be for the following day.
Note the removed signage: Besides the joke sign re. the "Green Delta Taxi Service", believe the small sign next to my left leg was from "Paddy Control" - the ATC folks who provided radar advisories across the Delta. I think it says: "Eyes and Ears of the Delta" or something close to that'
John Harris
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:53 PM   #64
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Absolutely great posts. I have always had an interest in the final stages of the war and your images and accounts are truly fascinating. Thank you for posting.
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Cambodia
Old 10-19-2019, 09:22 AM   #65
JOHN JONES
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Nice images and historical information, from former
unit members.
John.

23rd Cambodian Infantry Brigade Mission
"During my second tour, I made several trips into Cambodia. An interesting aspect of these trips was that we had to tape over the “U.S. Army” on the tail boom of the aircraft and put a sign in the side window saying “United States of America.” We were also limited as to the amount of time we could spend inside Cambodia. On one of these trips we picked up a Cambodian Colonel (Brigade commander of the 23rd Infantry Brigade) in Phnom Penh and flew him and his S3 to a base camp that one of his battalions was constructing on the northern corner of this huge lake called the Tonle Sap – it’s about an hour and a half’s flying time north of Phnom Penh (talk about bandit country!). All we had was two hueys. It turns out that the place we landed was an old Japanese airfield (in fact the runway numbers were done by burying rocks in the ground in the shape of the numbers (030 and 150 at either end, as I recall)).That was an interesting day. We had no US with us (other than ourselves), but we had a Cambodian LT who had gone to school in America (at UCLA, believe it or not). He spoke excellent English and was our guide for the day. After we got up there, we had to refuel.The fuel barrels were stored in a village about 5 km from the airport, so after we dropped off the COL and the S3, we went over there to re-fuel. The soldier guarding the hut where the JP4 drums were was wearing NVA web gear and carrying an AK-47. Naturally, this gave me some concern.This was 1972, and things were sort of chaotic in Cambodia at that time. As we flew from Phnom Penh, we would see artillery impacting on the ground and then start frantically looking for the fire base it was coming out of – in South Vietnam we had artillery flight following as we went through each province (when you hit the province boundary, there was an FM frequency that you’d call and they’d tell you what arty was going out of what fire base and where it was impacting and what the maximum ordinate was – that way you could determine what flight path to take and how high to fly in order to be above the arty. Of course, after they brought in the SA-7 (the Soviet-made heat seeking shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile), that all changed and we flew low. We had no artillery flight following in Cambodia, except for the rudimentary method I described above to see impacting rounds, look for the fire base, hope you weren’t in between the two.

Back to the soldier with the AK-47 – when I was on short final into the LZ next to where the fuel was supposed to be and I saw the guy guarding the fuel, I told my wingman to stay aloft and circle low covering us. I also told the door gunner on that side of the aircraft to stay on his gun and cover the guy with the AK. I told my co-pilot to stay light on the controls (we kept the engine running) and me and the crew chief got out and refueled the aircraft with a hand pump. Then we got up and did the circling maneuver while the wingman got his fuel. Then we went back to the airfield, landed, shut down, and spent an hour or so walking around the village adjacent to the base camp. We were treated very well – they showed us their local pagoda (a serene, beautiful place), their cemetery, and their village boat – a large dugout canoe-looking thing that they evidently used in races during the rainy season when the lake overflowed its banks. I was to find that the Cambodian army was equipped with a variety of weapons – the battalion we were visiting had four companies – one with M-16’s and M-60’s, two with WW II vintage US weapons (Garand M1’s, carbines, Thompson SMG’s, .30 cal LMG’s), and one with Soviet bloc weapons (AK-47’s, SKS, RPD machineguns). I’ll bet the S4 cried himself to sleep every night! I guess that the soldier guarding the fuel was from the 4th Company (the one with the Soviet weapons).We then went back to the base camp and were asked to participate in a banquet that the Battalion Commander had for the Brigade Commander. We were treated like royalty. We then took the Brigade Commander up near the ruins at Angkor Wat (which were definitely in NVA hands at that time – he may have been doing a recon, but it was for an op that never happened) and then we headed back for Phnom Penh. I was actually closer to Bangkok that day than I was to my home base. We dropped the Brigade Commander off back at Phnom Penh (his other two battalions were helping to defend the city), refueled again, and headed back for Can Tho. It was a long day.I was struck by what a gentle, friendly people the Cambodians were, and was shocked to find that the same ethnic group had the capacity to do the Killing Fields. I never would have believed it. The people I met were almost child-like. I got to be friends with the Brigade S3, a Major Sar Sokonne – he wore French jump wings and had been in a Colonial regiment at some point in his life. I’ve often wondered if he (or the LT from UCLA) survived. I sort of doubt it
".
Carl "Skip” Bell
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File Type: jpg CAMBODIA10003.jpg (148.0 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg GERRY0004.jpg (165.9 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg GERRY10002.jpg (150.4 KB, 77 views)
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Cambodia
Old 10-26-2019, 05:24 AM   #66
JOHN JONES
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Here are the details I recall, & a couple photos, of my one mission flown to Phnom Penh:
On 19 December 1972, I flew such a mission with our C.O., Major Jerry Childers as the A.C. Before leaving Can Tho, we too put duct-tape over the United States Army on both sides of the tailboom. We were carrying some of our company's recovery crews, who specialized in rigging downed Hueys for slingloading out by CH-47 Chinooks. My recollection is that the recovery crews were going to teach the Cambodians how to prepare one or more of their Hueys for recovery, which had recently gone down.
On the way, we stopped at Chau Doc, located near the Cambodian border on the Bassac River, to both top off with jet fuel and to embark two Cambodian Officers. We then climbed very high, to about 8,000 or 9,000 feet or so for multiple reasons. MAJ Childers explained that going so high would keep us above SA-7 missile range, would lessen our fuel consumption, thereby extending our range and would keep us under the radar surveillance of Paddy Control for much of our flight into Cambodia. which would help mark our position, should we be forced down for any reason. Upon our arrival over Phnom Penh, we spiraled down from our high altitude while finally over friendly territory. We landed and parked on the east side of the airport, on the military ramp. Located on the ramp were some curious items; there were several Cambodian H model Hueys; there was a non-flyable MIG-15 (see photo), another was an operational Cambodian Air Force T-28, outfitted for close air support, with three, seven-shot 2.75" rocket pods mounted under each wing, which I had my photo taken in front of (see photo.) I also saw a former U.S. Army T-41 fixed-wing trainer, (military version of the Cessna 172), which still was painted with the same international orange safety markings in had been painted with while having been used at Ft. Stewart, GA. I recall how bizarre it was to see a military airplane deep in a surrounded city, still displaying high visibility paint! We were advised to maintain a "low-profile" while in Phnom Penh for our two or three hour visit, while the recovery crew conducted their tutorial, and that is reason we could not leave the ramp, even to eat. Instead, sack lunches were brought out to us, each of which included a Pepsi-Cola. I was intrigued by the fact that this surrounded capital in the middle of a war, continued to produce Pepsi under license to a U.S. corporation. Someone in our crew declined to drink their Pepsi, so I put it in my helmet bag, to drink during the return flight to Can Tho. While flying back, again at a high altitude, I drank the second Pepsi & then wondered; "How may of these classic Pepsi bottles, with English writing on one side and Khmer (Cambodian) writing on the other, have made it out of this surrounded capital?" So instead of throwing that bottle out the window, I put it back in my helmet bag.
Just FYI - some almost 47 years later, I still have that Cambodian Pepsi bottle, along with the bottle cap, sitting on my desk.
John Harris Green Delta 19
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Pepsi Cola
Old 11-03-2019, 08:26 AM   #67
JOHN JONES
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"Interesting story. I am surprised that they only took one aircraft to Phnom Penh. When I was there, we always sent two Also interesting that they did a “high overhead” approach (spiraling down from altitude to avoid overflying too much terrain) into Phnom Penh International Airport. (Wonder if there were still international flights (or any other civilian flights) using that airport?). The siege of the city was evidently tightening. That may have been one of the last missions flown by Green Delta to Phnom Penh.
I had no idea that Pepsi was bottling soda in Cambodia.
Along that same line, I had flown to Phnom Penh in a Cobra helicopter in the unit I was with before joining the 18th CAC. It was an Air Cavalry unit based in Vinh Long (C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry; callsign: Lighthorse). We received a mission to send four Cobra’s and a UH-1H for command and control to cover a convoy of ships going up the Mekong River from South Vietnam to Phnom Penh. The road from the port of Sianoukville (sp) was being cut intermittently and someone decided that the way to get supplies to Phnom Penh was by sending ships up the river. Our mission was to overfly the convoy for the duration of its trip to Phnom Penh and to react to any enemy action against the ships. It was a long convoy (probably 10 km from the first ship to the last) and we kept two gunships at each end flying a racetrack pattern over the first and second halves of the convoy. As you might imagine, the trip took hours. We were able to refuel at a place called Neak Long, which was halfway between the border of South Vietnam and Phnom Penh. We did not see much action on that mission; I recall one RPG being fired from the shore at one of the ships and it missed. One of the other gunships reacted to the firing with unknown results.
During the refueling at Neak Long, we did not shut down the aircraft. The pilot in the rear seat got out and did the refueling (the refuel port was on the same side of the aircraft as the rear seat cockpit door), and the co-pilot in the front seat stayed on the controls. I was the guy sitting in the front seat of one of the Cobras looking across what appeared to be a soccer field at some warehouses (using the term ‘warehouse’ loosely — it was a roof on stilts — the contents of the building were visible). What I saw were pallets of canned Coca-Cola stacked to the ceiling of the warehouses. I thought to myself, “There must not be anywhere one can go without being able to get a Coca-Cola! Here we are (literally) in the middle of nowhere and there is Coca-Cola.”I am from the Atlanta area, and Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola (it was invented here), so seeing all that Coca-Cola was especially funny to me.
Carl Bell
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Pepsi Cola
Old 11-09-2019, 06:52 AM   #68
JOHN JONES
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Sad and Errie. John.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRmO581CFgw

PNOMPENH, Cambodia, June 9 1970 (AP) — Pepsi‐Cola's bubbling business has fizzled in Cambodia. The Cambodian Army seized its trucks for supply wagons and the boys at the bottling plant have gone to war.Teen‐agers and old women move the soft‐drink cases in the modern blue and white plant on the banks of the Mekong, but deliveries are off 60 per cent. Many roads leading to provincial towns are in enemy hands or bridges are blown up, and the company has only a handful of vehicles left with which to supply dealers.
After it arrived in 1963, two years ahead of Coca Cola, Pepsi has moved rapidly ahead of orange drink and beer in the nation's favor. Last year Cambodians consumed 26 million bottles of Pepsi. The betelnut‐chewing older generation in particular seems to like its effervescence, but it is also popular, between pipes, with those who fre quent the opium parlors, which are legal.
At the outset of the fight ing two months ago, the plant manager, Chung Kim hor, had 110 red, white and blue heavy‐duty Dodge and Fargo trucks. The Army com mandeered 40 to haul troops and ammunition and 40 more fell to Vietcong rockets and accidents.Along all major roads at the outskirts of the capital, lines of empty soft‐drink trucks stand ready as an evacuation convoy in case the city is overrun. The hulks of five sit in a starker line on a lonely bend of the highway east of Kom pong Cham. Vietcong rocketeers have come to associate the word “Pepsi” with the sec ondary explosion — from the pyrotechnics that result when a rocket hits the spot in a truckload of hand grenades.
Life goes on at the bottling plant. Last week the quality control man from Pepsi In ternational turned up in a seersucker suit to see if the vats were clean and the filters filtering. The inspector used to be an American out of San Francisco; now it is a Chinese out of Hong Kong. “Asia for the Asians,” Mr. Kimhor said with a laugh after passing his inspection.Now his main worry is whether the Government glass monopoly will keep manufacturing bottles and whether the waterways will stay open for shipping the ingredients.
The local franchise, privately owned, is heavily backed by Chinese financiers. A Pepsi costs 7 cents in Cambodia, but bottles are so scarce that the deposit is usually twice that. Some dealers refuse to sell a case without receiving a case of empties. AP

When the Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia in 1975, part of their aim was to isolate the country from all foreign influence. Home of the most ubiquitous foreign products, the Pepsi bottling plant in Battambang had to go. The workers were forced to evacuate the building to work in the rice field, and the factory, dating from around the 1960s, was abandoned 15 years after it had opened, to decay where it stood.

UPDATE:
Unfortunately this building, is no longer standing.
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