Danang had many amenities that were not available at A-team camps.

'The Club' at Det C-1 (Danang)

Da Nang had an NCO club for the men. Much like a local 'bar and grill' or a social club such as Elks or Eagles, the club featured hot sandwiches, a jukebox, mixed drinks, and a variety of beers.



Live bands performed once in a while

Beach Boys... with a Vietnamese accent.



Outnumbered 10-to-1 in a firefight?
No problem...

Dance in front of 30 'antlered' SF guys?

Being a larger military facility Da Nang was home to numerous units of several branches of the US Armed Forces. Da Nang air base, which served as our 'supermarket' at times, was only a few miles away from Headquarters. It was the busiest airport in the world. [More about Da Nang airbase on another web page] I believe there was a PX (Post Exchange) at Da Nang while Nha Trang had a BX (Base Exchange, the Air Force equivalent). Compared to the A-Teams, Da Nang Headquarters represented an unparalleled level of comfort.


The 'young crowd' at Company C

Seated at the table were a number of the young soldiers assigned to Company C. Can you help me identify them? Yours truly (seated on the far left) slurps on a Coke while his Polaroid 'Swinger' camera rests ready on the table. Anybody remember those cameras?

The opportunity to wear 'civies' (civilian clothing) was most welcomed. It helped you forget where you were and what you were doing there.

Some act as if they are not worried about what tomorrow will bring. Some wish a hundred tomorrows were over. Some believe that enough Black Label will chase away this bad dream called Viet Nam. What do you see in their eyes?


Conversation and camaraderie...

Some nights it felt good just to sit and relax -- a time for quiet conversation, war stories and news about 'home'.
Jerry Owens (far left) listens to the conversation. There is a good chance he just came off a 12-hour commo shift. What are the names of the other men at the table?


One of MY favorites -- pinochle!

Ahhhhhhh, yes...
When not playing, we would 'kibitz'. The rules were tough and the action was HOT ! In this photo Sgt Zicaro (back to the camera) claims the remaining cards.
Clockwise from Zicaro: Larry Rasmussen, Jerry Owens (standing), Unknown with cigar, and Gene Hill.

We really did have some great pinochle games on the patio. Most of the SF'ers are naturally competitive, so they took their pinochle very seriously. In order to be good at pinochle you had to learn the subtle nuances of bidding... of playing into your partner's strengths... of the game's strategy. One particular game stands out in my memory.

Sgt Zicaro was playing that day. The competition was fierce. We were several hands into the game and it was bidding time. The bid had already reached the '75' level. It was Zicaro's turn. Could he build on the strength of his partner's hand? Could they capture (and make!) the bid??

After a minute of silence he looked up from his cards and announced "I don't know how to bid it" -- referring to his hand -- "I'll just say 'Game!'"

With that, he fanned his hand on the table before us. There... in his hand... was every heart in the deck! He had been dealt a perfect hand.

I've played a lot of pinochle since then, but nobody has ever gotten close to Zicaro's 'quadruple run'! What are the odds against being dealt every card of one suit?? I sure hope his luck getting out of 'Nam unscathed was as good as his luck that day in pinochle.

Some years ago, Larry Rasmussen emailed to say... That pinochle bit reminded me of him. Ziggy was awarded the Silver Star, for his bravery at Con Thien (Det A-101) during an action shortly before they relocated the camp to Lang Vei where it was overrun by NVA using Russian tanks.

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Gene Hill and Larry Rasmussen. In addition to being great soldiers, they were really great guys! I'll never forget your friendship!