Comments from Robert Dodge
I hope these pictures can be added to the website to remind those viewing of some of the people and aircraft of the unit.
I look back at 1969 as a privilege to have served with many fine people and to have represented our United States in the intended fight for freedom in Vietnam.
As an additional duty, I occasion that took me to Saigon by Ford convertible (Jeep) on the Hwy 1. The 45 minute drive through open roads and jungle on both sides was always interesting. We could have just as easily been killed by Viet Cong. I have some great pictures of Saigon from the days and also a memory of having lunch at the outdoor restaurant of the Continental Palace Hotel. There we would sit with our M-16’s laying on the floor next to us and .38 cal Smith & Wesson strapped to us while we have cream of chicken soup, a prime cut of steak, a bottle of Coke, etc. Would could have been killed very easily with a hand grenade.
Other additional duties were taking care of “Killer” the dog who looked like a husky. In inherited him when another pilot rotated back to the US and some one needed to care for Killer. Killer often road with us in the Ford convertible on our way to Long Binh to obtain cash to pay the VGS workers (Vietnamese Government Service). We would often stop at Loon Foon’s Restaurant for some of the finest oriental food. The 1st Aviation Brigade was located nearby and many high ranking officers would eat there. On one occasion when Killer was with us, I went into the restaurant and explained the situation with the dog and if a room were available to keep Killer while we had lunch. We were advised to bring the dog in. Killer sat next to my chair and obediently sat there the entire time. On subsequent visits, the high ranking officers would say hello to Killer and were glad to see him. If we didn’t have Killer, we were asked by those same officers about why Killer was not with us. UNCONVENTIONAL WAR WOULDN’T YOU SAY.
The 1st Avn Bde had a quarterly magazine published for the troops in Vietnam. The 184th was featured and you know who was featured in the article – Killer. Killer would fly with the Commander Major Chapman in the Beaver aircraft. While climbing to altitude Killer would sit on the seat a look out the window. After leveling at altitude, Killer would sit on the floor and sleep until sensing the aircraft’s descent and then get back on the seat to observe outside.