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HO CHI MINH, JOHNSY AND I
click HERE you will see and hear pictures and songs of the era of Shorty's adventures
Ramblings from a Baggy-Arse Army Clerk during those hazy, crazy days of the Vietnam Fiasco
Fate finds him being transferred to an Army Aviation group where he meets up with Johnsy, a young and wild soldier and they become mates - a mateship that endures through the odd times ahead. Follow them on a hysterical romp from Brisbane, through Sydney and the Phillippines "the QANTAS staff went on strike in mid-air and chucked us off in Manila" then off to Siagon and to their final destination - 161 (Indep) Recce Flt at the Australian Task Force Base at Nui Dat. Shorty describes every day life in the camp and explains that even through he is only a "baggy-arse clerk", he still has his stories to tell. So follows a collection of wonderful and bizarre tales, described graphically and in the vernacular of the day.
Some stories contain: the absurd, "we had a 105mm Howitzer but no one knew how to fire it, so we had to learn from a user manual", the ridiculous, "I was looking at a land mine outside my tent - on it, I could read, FACE TOWARD ENEMY: the pathetic, small children scrambling for small change, filling sandbags for a few cents each, a side-splitting story of McGee, a soldier who was overwhelmed by the American "free stuff" and could not help but help himself to it. Shorty meets an American soldier who was involved in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and reveals his fascinating secrets, the intensive, Tet "the first Offensive", and the disturbing story "Home sweet Hamlet" where Shorty is exposed to the lives of innocent peasants, discusses guerilla warfare and the practice of relocating villages.