About MAR/APR67 2 of my platoon members returned from their R&R [Rest and Relaxation or Recreation; often called I&I - Intercoarse and Intoxication] in Manila, Phillipines. After telling their stories of drinking and debauchery, they told us about an encounter they had in a Manila bar one night.
As they were sitting in the bar with some other Americans that they had met, a guy walks upto them and asks if any of them are American infantry on R&R. My buddies and a couple of others say they are. In a thick German or Belgian accent, he asks if he can talk to them. He tells them that he is a recruiter for the exiled president of the Belgian Congo [can't recall his name now] who already has a private army of mercenaries fighting in that country on his behalf, trying to regain his office from the mutinous dictator that took it from him. He says that most of them are Germans, Belgians, Brits, French, Spanish, etc., that have been professional mercenaries since the end of WWII. He said that they are just now starting to look at the Americans now because of their newly acquired experience in jungle warfare from the fighting in Vietnam.
He goes on to tell them that, if they join, they will be paid $1800/mo., big money in 1967, with half of it being deposited into a Swiss bank account in their names. Of course, he was most interested in guys who were close to the end of thier enlistments, but didn't see the war in the Congo ending anytime soon. He ended by passing around an address and telephone number in Leopoldville. These guys swore up and down that this was a true story, but didn't keep the address and phone number because they weren't interested.
I always wondered if this guy ever got any takers. Was he the only recruiter? Were there others in the other R&R destinations? I never paid any attention to the war in the Belgian Congo, but I seem to remember it being in the news, off and on, for a few years. I don't recall if the exiled president ever got his office back. Anyone have any memories of this?