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Thread: IN-COUNTRY R&R

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    I now live in Spokane, WA, my wife's hometown. We have 2 children
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    319

    In-country R&r

    While spending my 2wks. in Saigon to see a dermotologist [see: MY VERY BEST TIME IN VN] I heard some of the REMFs talk about an in-country R and R. It was supposedly 3 days spent at Vung Tau, a city at the mouth of the Saigon River on the South China Sea. It was in III Corps so I had never been there, but I guess it was pretty nice. The REMFs said that everyone in-country was supposed to get the R and R. I had never heard of such a thing. During my year there, I never knew one grunt that ever got this mini vacation. Nor on my second tour, although most of that was spent at Cam Ranh Bay. A trip to Vung Tau would have been redundant :mrgreen: . Through the years, as I came in contact with other VN vets, I heard other guys talk about hearing of it, but have yet to meet or talk to anyone that actually got to go. I've even heard that the Marines had a similar thing at China Beach at Danang, but have never met a mud Marine that ever was rewarded with it. So.......maybe it was just an urban legend.
    Last edited by Drone_pilot; 06-03-07 at 22:20. Reason: Correcting ampersand error
    TOM
    PROUD TO BE A U.S. PARATROOPER!



    502nd Parachute Infantry****STRIKE FORCE!

  2. #2
    I also heard about Vung Tau but never got there, or was even offered the chance. Cam Rahn was nice I spent some time in the hospital there, my ward was right on the beach, loved it.

    "In my many years on this earth, I have concluded that one worthless man is a shame, two are a lawfirm and three or more are a congress." President John Adams

  3. In Country R&R

    Looking at old threads today and saw this one. In the 196thLIB we were given incountry R&R as a reward. It was not normal to get one. I got my first one to China ( I think) Beach for laying an ambush outside of Tra Bong. This was in Quong Ngai province on the peninsula south of Chu Lai. My loader and I both got a three day R&R to beach at Danang. There was also a R&R center at Red Beach. There were no signs at all in the place we went. We had ice cream, milk, good food and swimming. The recreational facilities for intimacy (boom-boom parlors) were across the street.
    I got my second In country R&R for successful counter sniper work. I was assigned to Alpha Co base camp to use the 106 against a sniper who was shooting at them every day. This had gone on a couple of months and no one could get him. After I got him, they sent a chopper for me and I had one day to go see a USO show in Chu Lai. After a month w/o a shower I smelled like a goat. Some of the REMFs got up and moved their seats away from me. I also got searched by the MPs and they took my W/P and frags. The show was Les Brown and His Band of Renown, Joey Heatherington, and a gay male dancer who got a big hand from the lifers. I think anyone who shows up to dance in that heat deserves a big hand but I liked the babes.

  4. #4
    We had Qua Viet on the coast... USO shows, Mostly Korean performers, beer,..................... But the most desired feature was across the beach, over the wire, pass the Army MPs, and don't get caught.

    Frisco, on China beech, I only saw pictures of dun buggies, Viet-Namese gals in bikini... Your right it must have been so cruel myth.
    Last edited by Hollis; 06-03-07 at 23:33.

  5. In 1969, in Vietnam with the 1st Marines, there was something called Stack Arms. This was only for infantry outfits (grunts) and it was somewhere at or near China Beach, south of Da Nang. My company, Foxtrot 2/1 was trucked there from Battalion and we turned in our weapons and ordinance. We had a perimeter that was guarded by other grunts so we felt safe. This place was on the coast of the south China Sea and until we were trucked there, none of us had ever heard of Stack Arms. We had all the cold beer and soda we wanted, played volley ball, played a card game called Back Alley constantly, grilled steaks and hamburgers and got to swim in the ocean. There were no women or USO shows that I remember. I believe it lasted for only three days but it was a small glimmer of happiness in an otherwise violent and depressing year. The policy of the Marine Corps was to send a grunt company together and this one time is all I remember. Unfortunately, this reward came after a long and difficult operation and our company was very understrength. Soon after our three days of merriment, it was back to the bush. Semper Fi

  6. Addendum to my last.

    Since my last post on "Stack Arms", I have talked to a fellow Marine that served with me in 2/1 and remembers our visit there and I have also found some information in several of my personal papers and books on USMC operations in VietNam.
    First and foremost, as I stated earlier, Stack Arms was only for Marine rifle companies and attached weapons and headquarters platoons. It was the creation of Major General Ormond Simpson, Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division. It was a three-day in-country R&R that was a reward, of sorts, for the life of a Marine grunt in I Corps. One company at a time was rotated in until the entire battalion went through. Stack Arms was located within the compound of the 3rd Amtrac Battalion on China Beach, which was north of Da Nang.
    Stack Arms was opened in June of '69 exclusively for the infantry, a labor of love by General Simpson. His motivations were expressed on the wooden sign that hung above the compound gate: "... in recognition and appreciation of the tremendous load these Marines are carrying for Corps and country." I don't remember this sign but I'm sure you can see why.
    As I said before, we went in and checked our weapons, ammo and ordinance. We turned in our faded jungle fatigues and were then given tiger-stripe shorts and new undershirts. We were then turned loose on the protected beach. We could swim and play volleyball and football and drink cold beer and soda all day. Movies were shown at night, and steaks, hamburgers and hot-dogs were the main fare, grilled constantly. We got to shower and shave in hot water and sleep on cots. There was no rank or color, we were all equal for three days, mostly drunk or stoned. I still don't know where the officers went but I'm sure they had more and better.
    We did appreciate this gesture of affection from the Commanding General but I can also say, without hesitation, it did not change our perception about VietNam. There were still too many days ahead without chow or clean water to drink and too many patrols and too much contact with the NVA while we fought on with understrength squads and platoons and companies of Marines, and too many casualties from booby traps, ambushes and heat exhaustion and disease. The life of a Marine grunt in the summer of '69 was a difficult one and far different from the relatively safe existence of non-grunts or those in the rear. The Arizona and Goi Noi Island waited for us to return and return we did, over and over.
    Here is a small window into one of our typical operations:
    http://www.1stbattalion3rdmarines.co...llen-brook.htm

  7. #7
    orchidman16 Guest

    China Beach In country R&R

    I was the medic at China Beach R&R from 1970-71. It was nice. There was an NCO Club and an O Club. We had live entertainment several times a week-usually Philippine bands and singers. There was a steak barbecue every third night and movies several times a week.

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