Cam Ranh Bay
U.S. Navy

1970-1971

by: Charles T. Payne
Cam Ranh Bay, Naval Support Facility
© 1999


Cam Ranh Bay - Navy

I like War-Stories.com web site. It brought back many memories. I was not in the Navy. We were stationed out at the "resort" of the Naval Support Facility. I was there from April 1970 to April 1971. We had 1,500 RVNS and 500 USN stationed on a base designed for 500 men period.

Because of the overcrowding our normal supply of food was in short supply. We were served rice at every meal -- lots of rice. Most of our meals were made as Vietnamese food because they would not eat American food. Meat came in small cubes or thin strips. The officers and chief petty officers received the American food. Some times we were able to send a truck to the Army/Air Force side where we were able to trade for some wonderful "C" rations. Boy were they ever a treat!

Water was rationed to two hours a day because we had to use rain water in combination with the water pumped from a shallow well that regularly pumped itself dry. If you missed the water hours because you were on duty, it was just too bad.

Our primary duties were to service and repair water craft for in-country (river patrol boats) and harbor patrol (skimmer outboard motor) boats. My job was to repair the outboard motors and run the cherry picker to remove and install the engines from the river patrol boats.

We were home to the Republic of Vietnam Navy Seal training school and the dolphin training/testing laboratory where the dolphins were actually tested on real VC swimmers. I also served as the boat engineer for the Underwater Demolition Team stationed at CRB NSF.

We were mortared only three times and received sniper fire twice, while I was there. So we were considered a "safe" base. We lost no more than a half a dozen guys during the year I was there. We were considered as an in-country R&R Center until we became too over crowded. Then we became a RVN boot camp/training center.

Thanks again for the web page.

Charles T. Payne,
(formerly Engineman 2nd Class, USN)

 


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