Tag Archives: phuoc vinh village

Hooch Maids


Did various chores for GIs

Hooch maids were paid by the GIs on a monthly basis to do a number of chores. These included doing laundry, making beds, sewing patches on uniforms, cleaning hooches (our sleeping quarters) and a number of odds and ends. The maids could earn as much as a captain in the South Vietnamese Army, although it was often less. Most were paid was about $10.00 per month.

The military generally allowed most officers and non-commissioned men to have hooch maids, whenever these men wanted and requested their services. Some maids reportedly had sex with soldiers to earn extra income…
 
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Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger

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Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger

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Photo courtesy of Richard Lamb

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Photo courtesy of Chris Bussells

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Hooch maid in front Blues hooch

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Phuoc Vinh village

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Working girl of Phuoc Vinh
Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger

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‘Asian Girls gone Wild’
Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger

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Tragic Event


Freak Accident in Blues Hooch

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As one of the Blues was sitting in his hooch cleaning a 12 gauge shotgun it accidentally discharged killing their hooch maid instantly. She apparently was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. A shotgun was sometimes used by the Blues point man on recon missions.

Shortly after 1st Sergeant William Herder wanted me to drive the thirteen-year-old sister (babysan) of the deceased hooch maid to her home in Phuoc Vinh Village and break the news to her family. I got the assignment because I was the jeep driver, and I was authorized to enter the village.

As she stepped into my 1/4-ton jeep, she was extremely upset and hysterical to say the least and when we approached the village she became quite vocal. There were groups of South Vietnamese soldiers walking along the road, and I noticed how stirred up they had become listening to what she was crying out. She kept saying “GI killed my sister” and that made me very nervous because they probably thought I did it. With that my speed increased, and I kept my loaded M-16 at arms reach.

I dropped babysan off in front of her family’s home (pictured below) and
sped back to our company area without an incident. I chose not to stick around and talk to her family, mainly because of the language barrier and of course my safety was in jeopardy.

About a week later 1st Sergeant Herder and I visited the family and told them they would be compensated by our government for their loss…
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Village Laundry


Mamasan taking care of Business

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I never knew her real name. She was a really nice lady, and I always wondered if she survived the war after I left.

The village of Phuoc Vinh was off limits to all 1st Air Cavalry Troopers. It had been that way since violence erupted in the early months of 1970. I made it down there only once before it was closed off when I was a FNG in ‘Country’ back in March.
As part of my new Charlie Troop mail clerk job, I was allowed to enter the village. The main reason was to take dirty laundry down to mamasan for a select few Charlie Troop ‘lifers’. I always made sure I had my loaded M-16 along because friendlies and unfriendlies had similar faces. By day, they could look like friendly village people and at night they could be ‘Charlie’ shelling our firebase.

I recall one day I pulled up in front of mamasan’s laundry business and a young boysan approached my jeep. He spoke broken english and was telling me about his older sister the school teacher. He was trying to divert my attention while his buddies ripped the gas can off the back of my jeep and beat feet…

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Charlie Troop Mail Clerk


An offer I couldn’t refuse

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And I got ‘wheels’

My meeting with ‘Top’ (First Sergeant) was brief and to the point. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He said my records on file, qualified me to be the mail clerk for Charlie Troop. Prior to being drafted into the Army, I took a Civil Service correspondence course and at Fort Knox, I got a license to drive a military vehicle.

Along with sorting Charlie Troop mail this job would require me to toot around Phuoc Vinh in a 1/4-ton Jeep running errands and chauffeur for the upper brass. Another duty was taking dirty laundry down to Phuoc Vinh Village to be cleaned for a select few Charlie Troop ‘lifers’.

Was I going to be bored with this type of job? Would I miss the adrenalin rush I got from combat situations with the Blues? How about pulling blood sucking leeches off of my body after humping through the hot steamy jungle all day? Could I possibly miss any of these things with this new job?

The more I thought about being a mail clerk this late in my tour just made good sense and my chances of going back to the ‘World’ in one piece and not in a body bag would definitely improve…

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Phuoc Vinh Village


The Vietnamese People Continue their Traditional Way of Life

Phuoc Vinh firebase (Camp Gorvad) was next to the Village of Phuoc Vinh. Of course, that’s how it got its name.

When I arrived in Phuoc Vinh in March of 1970, we were allowed to go down to the village and hit the bars. My first time was with a couple of fellow Blues, and I got totally wasted on a Vietnamese beer called “33”. I remember holding a bottle of “33” up to a light, and you could see all kinds of stuff floating around in the bottle. That was my first and last encounter with “33”.

About a month later the village was off limits to GIs because of the violence…

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Many of the Village People worked at our Phuoc Vinh firebase next to their village.

Oxen pulling a wooden cart was a familiar sight.

One of the few cars I saw in Vietnam.

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Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder
Ron was with the 720th Military Police attached to The 1st Infantry’s M.P. Company stationed in Phouc Vinh during Operation Junction City in 1967.

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Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Looking down towards the market from the main gate
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Holding cell at 1st M.P. Quarters
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Main gate
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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M.P.’s from the 720th M.P. Battalion TDY during Junction City
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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Market Place
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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The Hero Bar which sat just outside the main gate
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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This young lady worked at the Venus Bar
Photo courtesy of Ron Kidder

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