VIETNAM CHRONICLES

CAPTAIN RICHARD L. KLOPPENBURG

SHORT STORIES FROM 1966-1967 IN VIETNAM

BELOW ARE SOME TRUE BUT UNTOLD STORIES
VIETNAM WAS THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF MY GENERATION

Fishing with Frag Lures in Cam Ramh Bay

My airplane needed a 100 flying hour inspection every 100 hours. The inspection was in Dong Ba Thin. Several times during the 100-hour inspection, my friend Gerry Carson, the maintenance officer suggested that we go fishing. The fishing area was on the South China Sea next to the Cam Ranh Bay. Ok, I thought that was a good idea. That part of Cam Ranh Bay was very secure. Vietnamese never lived there and there was never Viet Cong threat. This part of the ocean was pristine. The shoreline was like the south sea islands. Lots of large boulders with crystal clear water. It was clean and the fish and lobsters were prolific. We tried fishing poles and different lures. No success. We could see the fish and lobsters swimming by.

The next time I came to Dong Ba Thin. Carson told me that he would guarantee fish? Wow, how can that be? As we drove to the beach I looked for the fishing poles. No poles? I did see a tarp over something in the back of the jeep. After we arrived, Carson pulled off the tarp. I could see a case of hand grenades. He called the hand grenades, frag lures. How do you fish with hand grenades? We could see the type of fish swimming that we liked. Simply—pull the pin and drop in the hand grenade. When you jump into the water, you could see the fish floating upside down. Just pick the fish that you want and throw him on the shore. The same procedure for lobsters. When we arrived back at the company headquarters---no one could believe the amount of fish and lobsters!