April 28, 2011
At the risk of causing any
die-hard grunts who might read this to shake their
heads and groan, I have to admit that we had TV at
Penthouse/Trang-Sup until some scut stole the set.
I've always suspected that it was the work of a
Special Forces Colonel who once accused us Air Force
types of corrupting his men. The SF troops, using
the shaky excuse that it was OJT, admittedly enjoyed
watching reruns of Vic Morrow's WW-II action series,
The Colonel dropped by the camp one
day and found himself faced with a small dilemma:
how to tell the Army people from the Air Force ones
among the men he saw moving about the general area.
Everybody seemed to be bare-chested, hatless,
shirtless, wearing a tee-shirt and shorts, a
tee-shirt and fatigue uniform pants, or some such
combination of clothing that did not readily reveal
their branch of service. Fortunately, nobody was
doing any nude sun bathing.
scanned the men in sight and picked out one of the
huskier troops, a well-built young man who, if my
memory serves, turned out to be our friendly
neighborhood Air Force Sky Cop. The Colonel was not
amused. Grumbling something about flippin',
undisciplined Wing Nuts, he ordered all the Army
personnel into full fatigue uniforms.
Needless to say, although the Army (mostly)
continued to wear the proper fatigue uniform for a
time after the Colonel left, the wool headgear
gradually began to disappear again in favor of
cooler covers. Even the Special Forces guys got a
chuckle out of the Colonel's mini-tempest, although
they'd had to suffer a little because of the Air
Force's supposed subversive influence on their
choice of suitable tropical attire. Personally, I
suspect they'd have dressed that way while in camp
even if the nearest airman had been on Tan Son Nhut.
Thurman P. Woodfork
Thurman P. Woodfork (Woody) spent his
Air Force career as a radar repairman in places as disparate as
Biloxi, Mississippi; Cut Bank, Montana; Tin City, Alaska; Rosas,
Spain and Tay Ninh, Vietnam. In Vietnam, he was assigned to
Detachment 7 of the 619th Tactical Control Squadron, a Forward Air
Command Post located on Trai Trang Sup. Trang Sup was an Army
Special Forces camp situated about fifty miles northwest of Saigon
in Tay Ninh province, close to the Cambodian border.
After Vietnam, Woody remained in the Air Force for nine more years.
Thurman P. Woodfork's site for more information
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