DON'T NEED YOUR HELP, MAMA-SAN!

 

Our troops were exposed to a culture that didn't
care one bit about being naked

 

I was assigned to "A" battery FDC while they were on LZ English at Bong Son late January - early February 1968.  I was an "FNG"* .

Had a LOT to learn that was for sure. We were on "English " for a few days then packed up and conveyed off to a Special F
orces camp that was perhaps 20 miles away down the coast. The SF camp had a runway which the venerable "Caribou" could land.

We spent one night on the edge of this runway - the next day we airlifted to a rocky abandoned fire base I believe was called "Meade". The ground was so hard and rocky digging down & filling sand bags was impossible. We spent a night or two on Meade then air lifted back to the Special Forces camp - LZ Pony. We spent another night on Pony - no action as yet.
Beginning Day two on Pony, someone discovered that there was a nice river nearby that offered an opportunity for us to get cleaned up. And boy did we need it! We had dust & dirt caked on us from the day we left LZ English!  A bunch of us hopped in the back of a "deuce & 1/2"  went down to the river - dropped every stitch of clothes we had  and ran in the river to wash up. (We did leave a few guards on shore to watch our stuff)

All well and good right??  Apparently there was a small Vietnamese village nearby and all the mama-sans ran out to the river to "help" us guys out. So here I am, a good, very shy protected
, Catholic boy from small town Minnesota.  I was  naked as a jay bird  and wondering just how I was going to get out of that river and protect my modesty. Mama-san was not impressed.  

Closing note here:  Steve hastens to add that, "The mama-sans were not a bunch of hookers attempting to sell their wares to a group of dusty-dirty GIs.  They came to offer to wash our dirty fatigues.  A few of the guys accepted that...but nothing else!

 

The next day we were off to Kontum and a interesting firebase called "LZ Incoming" - so much for good clean fun! 

submitted by
Steve Gorecky

 

*"FNG" - Since the Pentagon sent over "replacements" after 13 months of service, the new guys were total strangers to their units and unit cohesion was greatly damaged as a result.  Thus, they earned the nickname "F*****g New Guys...and it stuck.

 

{Webmaster's Note: There was a lot of action at LZ Incoming. See "War Stories" submitted by Bert Landau.}