Vung Tau Mar 67 Viet Nam Map
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The U.S. Army decided to solve the problem of our Hueys losing so much power on the very hot days by upgrading to new Lycoming T53-L13 engines.  These were the 1300 SHP (Shaft Horse Power) engines replacing the 1100 SHP T53-L11s.  I was sent to a school in Vung Tau, the Nice of the orient to learn about the new engines in a school run by Lycoming.

390th 390th At the school there was this OH-6A LOH (Light Observation Helicopter) for training.  It was the first time I had seen one.  the .  Other names for this helicopter included Loach, Timex Tornado and Mattel Messerschmitt.  It was a toy compared to the Huey.
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Vung Tau is called the Nice of the Orient because of the beaches.  They were wonderful for body surfing.  And complements of the Australian Army nurse corps, they had wonderful sights.

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My wife says I had horrible taste in clothes then and I maintain that characteristic.

390th 390th In this bar a discussion was occurring between several of us Americans and it came around to why the hell were we in Viet Nam.  One of our people said "I cannot see why we are involved with a country 8,000 miles from my home."  At that point an Aussie soldier popped in with "its not 8,000 from my home."  It is a story I used today because so many Americans never realized that there were other countries involved in Viet Nam, many with a greater interest than we had.

Another story happened in Vung Tau.  An Aussie soldier came around asking if anyone could break an Australian ten dollar bill.  One of said, "hey, just go up to the bar."  The Aussie responded, "that is the problem with you Yanks, you can spend your money anywhere in the world."  That really hit home because I had done just that in a tavern next to the train station in Frankfurt Germany.

390th There were a lot a beautiful professional ladies in Vung Tau.  Many were French and could not go home because of medical problems.  I stayed clear.