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Some views of the 7th Radio Research Field Station (RRFS), August, 1966—June, 1967. Our camp was a short distance from Udorn, Thailand and Udorn Air Base. This view depicts our barracks, as you can see, much nicer than Operation Desert Strike, but not quite as nice as Hakata Station. The tent flaps are thrown up to facilitate air circulation. They would be pulled down during the monsoon.
An interior view of Our Little Domicile at the 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, August, 1966—June, 1967. My suite is second from the top in this view with my camera case on the bunk. You could drop a quarter on the bunk and it would bounce all the way to the ceiling, thanks to my very good Thai House-Girl that lived across the road in the Thai Boondocks and took care of my clothes and my living area. You can see all my worldly belongings right there in this view, except for electronic equipment purchased in Japan and sent home for safe keeping—Home Sweet Home.
Beer Softball Game, 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, August, 1966—June, 1967. The Operations Area is in the background, all the latest technology, deuce-and-a-half communications vans, parked in a carport-style, covered enclosure, surrounded by a barbed wire-topped fence, and guarded by always vigilant MP’s armed with M-16’s and .45 automatics. All the players, a great set of young men, none better, are armed with one-each beer, and all are extremely competitive. If you recognize any of these guys, please make contact and let me know.
One of the guys from Camp, 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, who happens to be a very good soccer player, and beer drinker, pausing for a photo with his local play-mates August, 1966—June, 1967. We loved the Thai people and especially the kids. They always greeted us with a big smile, and seemed to be happy all the time, even though it looked to the typical American as if they lived in poverty. If you recognize the young man in this view, please make contact and let me know.
Thai Construction Workers, 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, August, 1966—June, 1967. We moved into the new barracks the month before I got my “early out” for Summer School under the GI Bill. The troopers who followed us were fortunate enough to live in very posh surroundings, thanks to these ladies. I never saw the new Operations Building, except for a huge slab of concrete out in the middle of nowhere.
Thai Construction Workers, 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, Peg Driving Crew, August, 1966—June, 1967. It took a crew of nine to drive each peg. The new barracks is under construction in the background. One of my best friends and myself, on the way back from Udorn, after a day of fun, were invited to participate in a Soccer Match by the Thai construction workers. That was fun but it just about killed us, and we did not make that mistake again. My Soccer Buddy, if you recognize yourself in this story, please make contact. I would love to hear from you.
Another Best Friend, 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, August, 1966—June, 1967, playing Catcher in the Beer Game. This guy was totally crazy, not unlike me, and very intelligent, and good looking, like me. We worked hard and we played hard, and I know he is successful at whatever he ended up doing, just like most of the other guys who were at Udorn at this time. If anyone recognizes himself or anyone else in this view, please make contact and let me know.
Another Best Friend, 7th RRFS, Udorn Thailand, August, 1966—June, 1967, in the Club House, conferring with our Bookies and having a few beers at the Thai Horse Races near Udorn. This was a definite highlight of my brief stay in Udorn. We would go to the races at every opportunity, and these little guys would place bets for us and keep us supplied with beer. They took their cut, but that is all right, we had a lot of fun, almost like being at the Kentucky Derby. Afterward we would climb into a pedicab or “samlor” and head for dinner of Roast Duck at our favorite Chinese Restaurant.
Thai Boxing, Udorn Thailand, while based at the 7th RRFS, another favorite pastime. These guys invented Kick-Boxing, long before anybody else thought of it. I got lucky and caught this view right at the instant of the Knockout Punch. We gambled on the fights, too, needless to say. You can’t say there was nothing to do in Thailand, lots of things to spend our meager paycheck on to help the Thai Economy.
Tip Top Club, Udorn, Thailand, while based at the 7th RRFS, another favorite pastime. The latest hit tunes were mouthed in English by very good Thai Musicians. This is the first place where I heard I Heard it through the Grapevine, one of my all-time favorites, almost as good as Creedence Clearwater. The Upper Crust of Udorn came here, including the Army, the Air Force, and Air America.
Local Color, Udorn, Thailand, while based at the 7th RRFS. Everyone generally has a big smile and seems very happy with their situation. The men wear a sarong around the bottom and nothing on top and bare feet. The women wear a sarong plus either a bra or nothing on top and bare feet. The kids either go naked or wear shorts. You get used to it. Since most Americans had no sarong, we just tended to wear shorts with thongs on our feet. We wore a tee-shirt or knit shirt when we dressed up for special occasions.
Thai Boondocks, Udorn, Thailand, while based at the 7th RRFS. Typical Thai Hooch’s. The term, Boondocks, maybe even Hooch’s, was coined by U.S. Soldiers in the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection, about sixty years before this scene. My Grandfather was one of those soldiers, but that is another story.
Thai Hooch, Udorn, Thailand, while based at the 7th RRFS, complete with Water Buffalo. The houses were built on stilts to protect occupants from numerous crawling and slithering critters inhabiting the Thai Boondocks. Hooch's that we lived in were patterned on those that local inhabitants lived in. When a U.S. Military Vehicle ran over a Water Buffalo, the Thai owner received enough compensation to last a lifetime. Just like the Laotian samlor driver that stole my camera when myself and another best friend visited Off-Limits Vientiane, Laos, but that’s another story.
Udorn Air Base, Udorn, Thailand, while based at the 7th RRFS. View taken surreptitiously from the back of the van. We would go down there to the Club and the BX. Those Airmen had all the comforts of Home. 30 miles north to the Laotian Border, 30 miles east to the Laotian Pan-Handle. 30 Minutes from Hanoi, by F4 Phantom, and just a short distance to blasting the North Vietnamese, the Viet Cong, and the Pathet Lao. God bless and keep all of them.
Don Monroe’s Civil War, Philippine Insurrection, World War II, Viet Nam Era, Cold War, Current Troubles, Maryland Eastern Shore, Reflections, Connections.