539th Transportation Company - Phu Loi, South Vietnam

Phu Loi, Vietnam, 539th Transportation Company
Order Book




Phu Loi Vietnam, The 539th Transporation Company

Our Barracks
Our Company Area
Hanging Out
Log with Bunker & Urinal
Sundeck Above Bunker
Guard Tower
Me With My Truck
Mamasans Washing Clothes
Vietnamese Mamasan
Our Company Motto
Getting Busted in Siagon
Roadside Stand
Excerpts from the Book, "The Adventures of Space and Hobo"
When I first arrived at the 539th Transporation Company Unit, I was assigned to maintenance squad for the Ch47 Chinook helicopters as a mechanic. This was what I was trained for as my M.O.S. ( Military Occupational Specialty). I soon discovered, however, that most of the other men assigned to this squad were drinkers, who we called juicers, and that they were very much opposed to potheads This made it very difficult for me as I was trying to find my place. I would hang out with the potheads in the evening when off duty and work with the juicers during the day. Not only were most of them juicers, but the sergeant in charge of the crew had a vendetta against potheads. Before I’d arrived on base, one of his crew members had been a speed freak and went totally berserk one night and almost killed himself. He then took on the responsibility to get the guy straightened out and, thus, was constantly trying to catch the potheads in action and bust them.
Me in My Truck
Pond Fun
The Boneyard
Jack at the Pond

At the bottom end of our flight line there was a pond where the potheads would go to smoke in the evenings. It was far enough away from the company area where they weren’t noticed. The maintenance shack was also located near the pond as well. One day shortly after I had become part of this squad, the sergeant took our whole crew to the pond and began dumping oil and all kinds of junk into the pond. I asked why we were doing this, and his response to me was, “because those stupid potheads swim in here all the time and I want to really mess them up.”

Hiding Spot in the Wall
Hanging Out
Our Hootch

I knew then my days were numbered and I was never going to make it with this squad. It would only be a matter of time before he figured out I was a pothead; therefore, I decided, even if it was going to hurt my military career by not working in my M.O.S., I was going to try to change jobs with someone. I definitely wasn’t planning on making the military my career, so I really didn’t care. I found someone in the ground handling crew who wanted to work as a mechanic, so we went to the people in charge of us and asked for a change. After much discussion about how it would affect our standing in the military, especially after we returned stateside and the brass realized we hadn’t been working our assigned M.O.S., it was agreed upon we could make the change anyway.

Me with John
Flightline in Background
Me With Ed

My new job working with the ground handling crew was really great. I got to drive a tow truck and was the person responsible for towing helicopters that needed repair from one place on the post to another. I also drove the fuel truck and filled the helicopters with fuel. As the fuel truck driver I also had the fun of burning the human excrement. Thankfully, I wasn’t the one that had to collect it. My job was simply to spray it with JP4 Jet fuel thoroughly and then set it on fire. This was a daily thing. The best part of my job was being assigned the Maintenance Truck Driver. It was my responsibility to care for a 2½ ton truck and go on little missions for the Maintenance Department to pick up parts or other items. The fun part of this job was that once a month I got to be the courier driver for the Battalion.

Our Festival
Festival with Smoke Grenade
Enjoying the Music
MP's Trying to Break it Up

I was responsible with two other buddies for organizing what we called a “Far East Woodstock.” We mass produced a bunch of flyers several days before the event and put them up all over our post at Phu Loi. As a result we had several hundred people who came and went throughout the afternoon while we listened to the Woodstock Album and getting high on pot and LSD. We had set up a big awning, made from a parachute on our company baseball field, with a stereo system that was blasting the music very loud. We had no permission to do this; we simply did it not caring about the consequences we might receive. At one point, our commanding officer called the military police on us and tried to break it up. He got up on the hood of the MP jeep and began to make a big speech about what we were doing was unlawful and there would be consequences for our actions. He told everyone how he and the other officers of the company had been tear-gassed just a few days prior to the event. I ended up getting an Article 13 for not being in my place of duty and for wearing civilian clothes when I was supposed be on duty. This was the beginning of my exit out of the army on a general discharge.