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

Thanksgiving Day 1966

It was well known that on Thanksgiving every G.I. would have a Thanksgiving dinner. Sorry for me, the providence chief of Lamg Dong providence wanted a ride to NaTrang. The providence chief was the same thing as Governor of a State. Looks like I could not say no. The mess hall at Bao Loc promised to save a Thanksgiving dinner for me. Ok, I flew to NaTrang and dropped the Chief off. On the taxi way leading to the main runway, I went by the Officers Club. I thought---I should drop in and have Thanksgiving dinner. Sure enough Thanksgiving dinner was in full swing in the Officers club.

After dinner, I took off and immediately took off to Bao Loc. About 15 minutes in the air, I looked at the fuel guages. Low fuel on both tanks. Never fly on low tanks in Vietnam. About that time, I was flying past the 183rd Aviation Company headquartersss in Dong Ba Thin. Dong Ba Thin was on the West side of Cam Ranh Bay. I landed and refueled the airplane. At the end of the refueling process, the crew chief indicated that I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the Company headquarters. I accepted. What a feast. After dinner, I jumped into the airplane and flew directly to Bao Loc. I arrived at Bao Loc about an hour later. My crew chief ran up to the airplane and exclaimed; hurry up, the MACV is saving dinner for both of us! Needless to say, that is one Thanksgiving that I will never forget?