Dogs at A-103 Gia Vuc

Short life span

Chico and the Commo Bunker

Going to the dogs...

Dogs were scarce in Viet Nam. One reason is that the Vietnamese ate dog meat. Stray dogs did not last long in Viet Nam. We had a dog in our camp... I think his name was Chico. Chico was a good ol' mongrel dog. They call them 'dumb animals', but Chico somehow knew better than leave the American compound. During the later part of my time at Gia Vuc, Chico disappeared. We figured that some of the Vietnamese enticed him out of the American compound. Bon appetit!


Entrance to the commo bunker...

The vertical posts (to right of entrance on "roof") were part of antenna support system.

I know of no SF A-team camps that did not take incoming artillery or mortar fire. This lead to a ritualistic dance, of sorts... incoming, rebuild antenna system, incoming, rebuild antenna system, etc. One of the SF A-team commo guys must have gotten pissed off, because he buried his antennas! Everyone laughed. By the time I left 'Nam, all camps were required to have at least one buried (underground) antenna.


The 'commo' setup at Gia Vuc

This was the 'commo' set up at Gia Vuc. The principal means of communications was the KWM-2A high frequency radio shown on the left of the desktop. This set provided the voice and Morse code communications.

Chico had one distinguishing characteristic: he hated loud noises. Sporadically the VC would probe our camp by sending some mortar rounds crashing into the camp. I don't know if this was just to harass us, to piss us off, to see if we were awake, or what. They REALLY liked the eleventh day of the month. I still haven't figured out the significance of that!

At the first explosion, Chico made a beeline for the underground commo bunker!

Chico would come bursting through the commo bunker door and shake uncontrollably! I could always tell when we were taking some incoming rounds by Chico's shaking. We kept a sawed-off shotgun above the commo bunker door. I was common knowledge in camp that when Chico was shakin' in the commo bunker, the first person coming through the commo bunker door was going to be blasted. One of the guys would always ring me on the field phone and let me know when the shelling was over. At that point I would hang up the shotgun.