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Topic: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever
Replies: 13   Last Post: Oct 22, 2020, 6:21 AM by: clover65®
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50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

emoji_events [19]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 3:04 PM
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Sometime in May 1970, our company happened to stop in the middle of nowhere (I still don't know where we were) at a MAC-V Compound and they allowed us to come in for a hot meal. We had only a few of those other than our heated C-rations since I arrived in country in February. They served up the best cheeseburger I can remember but it might have been because of the lack of anything to compare it to for such a long time. The highlight of our stop there, though, was the fact that they also let us use their modern bathroom facilities which I had not seen at all since arriving. They had HOT running water for a shower!!! Before this luxury, all we had for personal hygiene was a quick dip in a river or stream or a cold shower on a firebase underneath a canvas bag filled with water that was heated only by the sun's exposure. We also got to shave without having to use a one inch round mirror that we carried into the field in which we could only see part of our face at a time. I had a big shock when I walked into the bathroom and went past a normal sized mirror and caught a glimpse of myself from the waist up. Since I hadn't seen my entire face from February until May. I had actually forgotten what I looked like and had to stop and stare for a minute. One of these days I will dig out a picture of me taken from around that time and post it here so you can be shocked as well. Halloween might be the perfect time for that.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

emoji_events [9]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 5:58 PM
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I'm not sure that I ever had a hamburger when I was there ..... can't completely remember. My compound in Tam Ky was pretty close to a MAC-V compound and occasionally I would ride over with some of my men to go to their clubs and eat. A real luxury for us too. We had a cook at my compound (only 26 men in the compound plus one electrician that kept the generator going and a Corpsman who was also our barber), but our meals were nothing to write home about.

Since we were engineers we were pretty hand at doing things, so we rigged up a shower by using old wing tanks off of jets to store the water on about a 10' tower we made of 2 x 6's and placed an emersion heater on the tank. During the summer the water would heat up from the sun. After we moved to DaNang we were in a compound that had pretty decent showers, but I also remember that as soon as you got out of the shower and dried off you immediately started sweating again, so it was almost useless. Atleast it felt good while you were in the shower!


Words fail me, you guys are basically what a lot of my

[4]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 9:00 PM
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friends and their older brothers went through. I just missed Nam by a couple years myself. God bless you, brother.

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I'm just trying to keep Anna Lee company.


The mess hall on our firebase Hill 4-11 was real

[4]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 9:55 PM
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good but we only spent one week out of 4 or 5 there when we rotated out of the field to pull perimeter guard duty there. The cook even had a big sign at the front door like he ran a 5-star eatery. He bragged (and rightly so) that he had the best omelets for breakfast in the entire Army. I have never had a better one anywhere.

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Yes, I never personally went through it, but it is easy to

emoji_events [6]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 6:07 PM
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see, even in the mundane everyday, War is H-ell.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

emoji_events [7]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 6:36 PM
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We had just the opposite in Korea during the winter of 1950-51. When we were in Pyongyang two of our guys decided they would brave the cold, only about 10 F. at that time, and take a much needed shower. They heated some water and then got near the exhaust of our PE-95 Power Unit. They were bragging about being the only two men who had a shower in several weeks. They were also the only two men in our group of about 55 men who had lice. Some times being dirty has it's advantages.

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Lice is one thing I never saw over there but

[2]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 7:14 PM
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I did get ringworm at the very top inside portion of my left leg due to all the moisture that never seemed to completely dry up there. They gave me a prescription in pill form to take for it shortly before I got wounded and sent to Walter Reed. When they sent my personal belongings, the pills were in the package without being in a marked bottle and I was quizzed harshly about what kind of drugs I was bringing into the country.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

[2]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 7:18 PM
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You think it was a beef cheeseburger or something a little more of a “ local” protein source?

Great story as usual!

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

emoji_events [5]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 7:31 PM
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I never even thought to ask - would not have cared what the source could have been - it tasted like the best steak in the world under those conditions. And you are asking the guy who didn't think twice about trying a rice popsicle on a split bamboo stick from a kid who rode up on a bike with a styrofoam cooler strapped to the back.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

[2]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 8:00 PM
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Brother, I can’t imagine! I bet there was nothing but pure silence in that hall when you were eating too!

My guess is there were meals missed over there in terms of priorities. My God, they should have sent every man home with a ten year supply of premium 5 star meals. To start.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

[2]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 9:57 PM
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Thank you clover65® for your service, perspective and sacrifice.

2020 white level member

Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

[2]
Posted: Oct 21, 2020, 10:17 PM
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Great story. Thanks for sharing. Every war has stories that are unique to that experience but similar to other wars in so many ways.


Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

[1]
Posted: Oct 22, 2020, 12:16 AM
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You are so right. As a matter of fact, just about all of our gear in the Marines was WW II vintage. While the Army mostly got good stuff, we were still using 782 gear (packs, haversacks, web belts, tends, etc.) made of canvas. In the field we were eating C-Rations, which I think Clover said they had also. Our recon units carried lurps (long range patrol meals) but we never got any of those. We still used PRC 25 radios and the batteries weighted a ton, but you better have a good supply of them when the stuff hit the fan.


Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Best big MAC -V burger ever

[1]
Posted: Oct 22, 2020, 6:21 AM
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We had a few LRP meals but they required using more of our water to prepare and we sometimes ran short on clean water even with carrying 4 or 5 canteens. And water added a lot of weight considering that some of our canteens were half gallon. I would always remove one from my ruck sack and place it in thick grass during night positions so the dew would cool the water for the first thing the next morning.

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