Ban Mê Thuột East Air Field and Camp Coryell
Home of Pyramid!
The Good Sloop John-B

by: Channler Drawdy, SSgt
Scope Dope & Pyramid 13
Pyramid 1968-1969
© 2005

Tales from Ban Me Thuot #2: Ban Me Thuot, RVN, Home of Pyramid


A Class in Music Appreciation, “The Good Sloop John B” 1968-1969

In 1966, the Darlac Hotel housed all USAF personnel assigned to Pyramid. As you stood in the street, facing the entrance to the Darlac, on the right side was a compound housing the CIA (USAID). On the left was a Villa that was the headquarters of the local Police Chief. This same Villa was in later years used to provide billeting for the growing team of USAF advisors assigned to Pyramid. What follows is a “Tale” sent to me by Channler Drawdy, Pyramid ’68 –’69.

A Class in Music Appreciation  -  “The Good Sloop John B”

The CIA was still there during my tour at Pyramid (1968-1969). The Villa was on the left, and then there was an empty lot to the left of the Villa. We had expanded, as I understand we had a lot more people in ‘68-‘69 than in most other years. We hired some Montagnards to do our guard duty and they lived in a makeshift hut on the empty lot.

The CIA didn’t like it at all when we got drunk and had late night hoote-nannies.
One night one of the agents came to the adjoining wall between the Darlac patio and the CIA house and fired off several rounds into the air from a .25 cal auto pistol -- right in the middle of our drunken rendition of the, “The Good Sloop John B.”  He told us to shut up and go to bed before he shot someone!

The next night he came to the little bar we had built on the left just as you entered the patio gate. After he had a few drinks he started in about the singing.  We had an SSgt who was a black belt in karate and taught classes in the patio almost every evening. The SSgt was present the night before at the hootenanny.  I wasn’t in the bar that evening but I heard rumors about a scuffle involving the CIA and our karate instructor.

Well, the next morning when I walked out onto the street in front of the Villa, here was the same CIA guy with a broken nose, two black eyes and his left arm was in a sling.  

After that we sang all night if we wanted to. The CIA was very quiet on the subject of our drunken hoote-nannies thereafter.


Channler Drawdy SSgt
Pyramid ’68 -’69
Scope Dope & Pyramid 13