Although not offering 'Country Club' amenities, teamhouses were one of the focal points of an A-Team camp. They served as the Mess Hall,
Day Room, and Social Hall for the team. The high wall surrounding the buildings prevented sniper attacks and offered protection from schrapnel
in event of mortar or rocket attack.
All major facilities within the camp (like commo bunker, mortar pits, etc.) were connected by trenches. The trenches offered protection from enemy fire to team members during an attack as they moved from one place to another. In this picture of the A-103 teamhouse you can see that a pallet serves as a bridge across one part of the trench system. Aerial views of SF camps (elsewhere in this website) show the trench systems intrinsic in A-team camps.
See the 'Good Intentions' page in the A-103 section for a humorous story about trenches.
The one major drawback of the teamhouse was that it was above ground level. Underground facilities offered much better protection, but it just
wasn't practical to put teamhouses underground.
As I mentioned previously teamhouses served as 'mess halls'. The kitchen for preparation of food was in the teamhouse, as was the dining area. I have several pictures of a typical meal time in the teamhouse dining room. Look at the A-109 Members page.
A-teams were always looking for ways to make the teamhouse more comfortable or a little bit like 'home'. That was our motivation for creating the A-109 "190 Club". It offered a place to eat or enjoy a drink. It served as a social center and simply a place to relax.
Sgt. Gary Bowes 'chillin' at the 190 Club... this bar was handmade by the A-109 SF'ers and local Vietnamese workmen. This picture could have
been taken while he 'stood watch' late one evening.
Note the use of split bamboo as the edging for the bar and the 'paneling' behind the bar. The captured enemy flag and weapons offer a silent tribute to past battles. We even showed our artistic side by using an (upside-down) Vietnamese hat as a lamp shade.
Let me explain why we called this the '190 Club'.
Most of the time we were successful in our attempts to buy (or steal) beer for the camp. There were several instances, however, when we ran out of beer. For those among us that just had to have a drink, we would raid the medicine cabinet. Ethyl alcohol ('grain alcohol') was included in our supplies. Grain alcohol was 190 proof. We would mix the 'grain' with "Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry" to make a potent alcoholic beverage. Think of it as KoolAid with the kick of a mule!