Sugar Mill

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pointman
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Sugar Mill

Postby pointman » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:57 pm

Anyone remember the location of the old Sugar Mill? I make it about 10.93 lat 106.33 long on Google Earth. I believe it was at the town of Hiep Hoa? and also the location of FSB Jackson?

Is that correct?
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Niner Alpha
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How about this Pointman

Postby Niner Alpha » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:01 pm

I dug out my Where We Were in Vietnam book by Michael P Kelly and my trusty brought back map.
Attachments
KhiemCuong.jpg
Khiem Cuong is at the cross roads to the bottom right. The place as mentioned in the book.
twoplaces.jpg
From Where We Were two references together.
map.jpg
From my old map. Jackson at very top. Sugar Mill to the middle. Chamberlain in the bottom right.
Last edited by Niner Alpha on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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I think this is a photo of the area of the Sugar Mill

Postby Niner Alpha » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:08 pm

All that comes to mind about the Sugar Mill to me is a multi story white warehouse of an empty building. Whatever else constitued the place I don't remember.

This photo is from my collection and I think this a view of the place from the air. The Sugar Mill is some place close to where that narrow man made straight line blue in the photo connects with the wider Vam Co Dong.

The location would match with the discription in the book and the map.
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SMill_001.jpg
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Hiep Hoa

Postby pointman » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:57 pm

In my letters, notes, I used Hiep Hoa and Sugar Mill interchangeably, as the same place. I seldom saw a map, so just picked up whatever someone said, probably in many cases wrongly.

The warehouse was what we called the "Sugar Mill". I walked through it with Bob McCoy, and there was a bunch of RVN's and their families living on the bottom floor. Seems like there was some water running through it in a cannel in the floor that they were using to bathe or poop in. Just outside some RVN's offered to sell us a girl, "My sister, $10, never been touched before."

Seems like the building had a hole in the side, like an artillery shell had passed through or into it?

Was there a FSB at the Sugar Mill? Either at Jackson or at Sugar Mill, I remember a FSB with a road running straight through the middle of it.

First time I was there, a bunch of kids came along and were playing on our bunker, when an officer passed through, some young hotshot, and gave us hell for letting the kids play there. He said they could be reporting back to the VC, etc. Whether he had a point or not, his assholiness pissed me off, so I wanted to do the opposite.

As soon as his majesty passed on to bless other areas, the kids came back, and actually they ended up sleeping through the night on our bunker. Another subject, but amazing how little these officers knew about us. I suppose they were still being trained to fight World War II.

Another name comes to mind is FSB Houston. Maybe this is Sugar Mill?
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Road through the middle of it?

Postby Niner Alpha » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:12 pm

Tra Cu had a road through the middle of it. It belonged to the Navy with some Vietnamese forces of some kind at one end of it. Long narrow FSB next to the Song Vam Co Dong and down river from the Sugar Mill. It was built on an old airstrip. You can see the pencil mark near the river directly west of Chamberlain if you click on the map and then hit the enlarge again with your mouse. Could this be the place you are thinking of?

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Tra Cu

Postby jtier » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:25 pm

The amazing factor at Tra Cu was flush toilets in the middle of nowhere. Old Special forces camp with home comforts. That is the place that the merc's worked out of.
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I think the Navy had a lot to do with that

Postby Niner Alpha » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:57 pm

They had something rigged up where you could get a hot shower too. And.... once they served Lobster in the mess hall to however many of us from Alpha company were there at the time. But nothing special about the place otherwise.

Tra Cu had a lot of rats. One jumped on my chest on his way to the floor from the rafters in one of the hooches one night. Took me a few minutes to get back to sleep.

The Navy was in charge of the place even when we were there. And I think they were always happy when we left.
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TraCu

Postby jtier » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:06 pm

I do remember a Battleship Gray Huey landing at Gettysburg and Capt Lavassie called me to the CP and told me to find the M-60 barrels swiped from the bunkers at Tra Cu and have them in the CP in Ti TI time. I complied.
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That's funny, Jim. Sorry to hijack your string John...but

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:20 am

While thinking about it, there were some other signs of the Navy's lack of comfort. They had a bar that was open during the middle of the day for a couple of hours and then again at night for a couple of hours. The platoons on stand down, after enjoying themselves a little too much with the freedom of the mid day bar were not allowed in the club after a while.

I think this might have resulted from the shooting range that was set up just outside the wire one afternoon, following the example of some Navy guys test firing a machine gun of some sort. Some of our guys were blazing away too pretty soon... me included. Some of us had had something to drink...me being one. The Navy commander came out and grabbed weapons and berated the Army troops just like they had been pissing in his afternoon tea. This "Commander", or whatever he was, grabbed my M16 and asked me what I thought I was doing. I think I told him exactly what. But that was the end of the shooting ... and the bar.
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Tra Cu

Postby pointman » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:24 pm

Not at all. Never know where something will end up.

This sounds like the place. I remember a better than average chow hall, but not much more. You lost me were it was located. Seems like there was a town down the road within sight, which may have been Hiep Hoa?

Our platoon was at the naval base at Ben Luc, had a great meal, then went to an enlisted men's club. Unfortunately, several drunks decided to throw some glasses in the fireplace, and we were escorted off base. You can't take grunts anywhere. Probably the only time they invited us inside.
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Where it was located

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:54 pm

Ok... anything to put off yard work. I scanned a couple more map photos to show where Tra Cu was. Added the text from the Where We Were book.

"town down the road"...hmm. Could you be thinking of Duc Hoa instead of Hiep Hoa? Duc Hoa was the village just down the road from Chamberlain.
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text.jpg
largerpicture.jpg
tracu.jpg
pointman
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probably Tra Cu

Postby pointman » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:06 am

sounds a lot like the one place, but my mind has probably blended several places together. Maybe it is easier for my mind to combine several memories into one, so there is not as much to remember? Saves rather limited space.

My wife swears it wasn't her I took to the Truman Library about 30 years ago, says she has never been there. I keep insisting it was her, as it is too difficult to remember who it really was. It is amazing some of the things we did together that she can't seem to remember :wink:

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