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Thread: Vietnam war

  1. #91
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    Default Re: Vietnam war

    Quick update with a bit of otherwise irrelevant news from Saigon:


    Thanks to merchant-navy.net making it possible, what started here as just another interesting thread, resulted in two blokes and new friends meeting up to enjoy a memorable eve!

    We, me and John managed to catch up for a toast in this place called Nr.5, and so we thought, fair enough to share this news and celebrate this special event with all of you!

    Perhaps John can share here what he told me about the now and then regarding the Nha Be muddy waterway and the mission ahead, when things are to be continued.

    @ John, was a real pleasure, looking forward to round 2!

    Cheers

    Dennis & John @ Nr.5.jpg

    Nr.5 Happy Hour.jpg

  2. Thanks happy daze john in oz, john walker thanked for this post
  3. #92
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    Default Re: Vietnam war

    What no tatts?

  4. #93
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    Thumbs up Re: Vietnam war

    As mentioned I met up with Dennis in a very good and inexpensive bar. We had more to drink than I prefer but nonetheless it was a great night and a good time was had by all. I had asked Dennis if it was possible to get to see Nha Be the Shell oil port and or the old site of the U.S. brown river navy base which was just about next door. The guy excelled himself and drove down to the area with His daughter they managed to reconnoiter both places. What I gleaned from the information that Dennis gave Me was that I should catch a ferry from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau and to try and get a seat on the Starboard side outward bound and port side homeward. I duly did this and had a great 5 hour round trip seeing more ships than I have seen in many years. The berths and storage tanks are still there, even though the area is difficult to recognize as the tank farms stretch a long way down river. One other striking difference between now and 50 odd years ago, is that the river is so lush and green compared with when the war was on and the defoliation caused by agent orange.
    Dennis managed to enter and visit a shrine inside the old brown river navy base which was installed by the Vietnamese to commemorate Far East Prisoners of War incarcerated there and some dying there. The base is now a military/naval area called X51. Dennis has kindly written a letter for me in Vietnamese which explains that my reason for wishing to visit the shrine is that my Father was imprisoned there and eventually liberated from there in 1945 and returned home, unfortunately some of His mates never returned. It is those poor souls that I will be making a trip there to burn incense and offer a prayer for. Dennis is also trying to get a letter of authority for Me to enter the base from a senior government official. I hope to return to Vietnam in about another week if my health holds up for a stay of 5 days and visit with Dennis again and to carry out my errand of remembrance.
    So many thanks to Dennis and his help it has been proved invaluable.

  5. #94
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    Default Re: Vietnam war

    Hi John (#86) - the reference you might be looking for is in post #77....

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  7. #95
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    Default Re: Vietnam war

    I was last in Saigon , April 1975, on the Anco Stane, delivering stuff from ESSO USA to Esso Saigon. The VC were about 20 miles up the river.

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  9. #96
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    Default Re: Vietnam war

    I was on the Saigon Flyer (Hemisinus) in 1971/72. No LPG tanks on her then. We were part of the Rungsat Navy, the Saigon River Rats. Usual run Pulau Bukom to Nha Be or Da Nang with the occassional trip to Miri or Bankok.
    5 apprentices/cadets working 6 on 9 off so there was always two of us on deck during loading and discharging. Three second mates and a day work chief mate. The old man was Dirty Downer. We occasionally carried some strange deck cargo - no names, no pack drill but the old man was always flush. He was making so much money with war bonus he wanted to stay on for the full two years articles. Half the crew were shacked up with tarts in Nha Be and the other half had wives or girlfriends (or both) in Singapore. There was almost unlimited overtime and war bonus so the lads were never any trouble. A run ashore in Nha Be was supposedly forbidden and could be quite an adventure, but when you're 18 (had my birthday in Vung Tao) you're invincible or were we just complete idiots? All-nighter in the village for 200 B&H!! One night ended up crashing a Yank jeep into a paddy field in the wee small hours trying to get back to the ship after curfew. Four very bedraggled, not so jolly, jacks and a seriously muddy & smelly US SF marine. Made it back just in time and luckily the Old Man mistook me for one of the junior engineers as we crawled up the gangway. Strange how no one else saw us. Good bunch of blokes, no one dobbed me in.
    Rob Cumbes
    R860757

  10. #97
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    Default Re: Vietnam war

    I was serving as a deck apprentice on the Shell tanker "ACAVUS" in Spring and Summer 1967, largely on voyages from Pulau Bukom to Vietnam ( visiting Saigon, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Cam Ranh Bay). We had a few shots fired at us, notably smashing a bridge window while at anchor in the Saigon river. If my memory serves me well, I believe the "HALIA" was damaged by a limpet mine when at Nha Trang during that period, so when we were next in the U.S. soldiers posted on board patrolled the deck dropping hand grenades over the side every so often....nice with a single hulled ship carrying gasoline an jet fuel eh!
    Paul Stevens

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