Easter 1967

submitted by: Alva Leon Matheson

I was stationed at USSF Camps at Gia Nghia and Non Co along the Cambodian border near the II/III Corps border.
The FACs had made a long series of trades and wound up with a couple of cases of fresh eggs for Easter 1967. The cook boiled them all, dyed them pretty colors and set them out on the tables for Easter. Most of us were looking forward to Red Stag steaks, (hauled in on the skids of a Huey) and fresh fried eggs for breakfast. It took a Lieutenant Colonel to keep the cook from being lynched.
Yup, those were the days. This same Lieutenant Colonel ran a practice “gas” (CS) attack one night after a similar attack had been made at Bien Hoa, I think. Trouble was, none of us AF types had gas masks and the CS got the FACs grounded for a couple of days. Definitely put a chill on AF/Army relations.
The best part of Gia Nghia was the airstrip. It ended in a steep cliff. Absolutely no overrun! Great sensation on take off, the ground just suddenly dropped away. No problem for the O-1s but I have a picture of a “Wallaby”, the Aussie C- 7, putting on the brakes and hitting hard reverse thrust as that fence was coming up.
We radio operators in II DASC used a call sign of “Verbal Estate” in those days, later it became “Carbon Outlaw.” “Tangerine” was III Corps and “Strong Typhoon” must have been IV Corps. I Corps was “Ragged Scooper.”