By Lou Drendel
Publication by means of Drendel, Lou
Read Online or Download Air War Over Southeast Asia: A Pictorial Record Vol. 1, 1962-1966 PDF
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Extra info for Air War Over Southeast Asia: A Pictorial Record Vol. 1, 1962-1966
I was startled to see that the battery was equipped, not with artillery guns, but instead with four French-made 120-mm mortars with a practical range of only five kilometers. The first month, Thinh and I had to familiarize ourselves with this new weapon. We were also charged with training the Vietnamese NCOs and new recruits on gunnery practice and procedures. Once a week, we would participate in firing practice in the nearby rice fields. We would warn the farmers and buffalo boys not to venture into our improvised firing ranges.
His family lived in Hanoi and sometimes I would give him a ride when I drove to Hanoi on a weekend pass. Dr. Thang’s family lived in an apartment on the second floor of a building located near Ho Hoan Kiem Lake. Often, he would invite me to eat seafood in the commercial district or to go window shopping in the French quarter, just a few blocks from his home. Dr. Thang had a younger sister, Khanh, who was a student at the famous Trung Vuong High School (named after the national heroines, the two Sisters Trung, who defeated the Chinese in the first century AD and who committed suicide by throwing themselves into the Hac Giang River after they were in turn defeated by the enemy).
One of their favorite songs, entitled “L’artilleur de Metz,” was so outrageous that I often walked away when they started to sing. I often took advantage of my “resupply” missions in Hanoi to stop by Dr. Thang’s apartment and to invite Khanh and her younger brother to have pho with me. I would let them choose the best pho restaurant in town. Then we would drive around Hanoi in my jeep and Khanh would explain the history of each landmark or points of interest that we visited. Thang and his family.
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