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DaNang Lullabye

Arrangement Copyright © 1997 Dick Jonas. All rights reserved. Author unknown; arrangement by Dick Jonas; Air Force traditional


In Thailand, the fighter pilot's war was, to some extent, almost a lark. We slept in real houses on real beds. There was air conditioning, showers, and a pot where you could sit comfortably and read the Stars and Stripes. Eggs for breakfast, steak for dinner, brought in by a bunch of heroes in trashhaulers who flew the supply line from Charleston to Bangkok 24 hours a day unceasingly for ten solid years.

We cooked on the o'club patio over charcoal, remembering Tucson and the long, lazy Indian Summer evenings when we swilled beer, bawled at the kids, and played grabass with Mama's fanny every time she came within reach.

Incountry, particularly at DaNang, it differed a bit. Charlie (the Viet Cong, Nguyen's southern second cousin) used to interrupt the patio action with some rather exciting fireworks consisting of 122 millimeter rockets.

I heard a story once about a DaNang rocket attack which sent the Phantom Phlyers barreling for the trenches at about three in the morning. I guess the first detonations provided sufficient incentive for the fearless American GI to haul his ass from a dead sleep to a deep hole in the ground a hundred yards away in something under ten seconds.

On this occasion, somewhere between the second and third wave of explosions, one jock nudged the other one in the bunker with him and asked, "Hey, did you see that round, dark circle up over your bunk as we left?"

"Yeah," his frightened partner replied, "that was my asshole."

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