"In June ’67 when I arrived, enlisted
staff was housed at the Palace Hotel. Accommodations must
have been tight just then as I remember being put up in a room
and having to sleep on a cot for several days. I believe we were
sharing the hotel with Air Force personnel as when I finally
ended up with a bed; it was in a room with an Air Force guy and
a Det. B guy whose name eludes me as he wasn’t a roommate for
very long. One night he was moaning and groaning in the room
because his stomach hurt and it turned out he had appendicitis.
He went to the hospital and never returned.
At the Palace, hot water was not always in ready
supply. You had to be fast into the shower when returning
from work to get a hot one. Those who weren’t fast ended
up with a cold shower as long as the water continued to run;
went out back and "showered" with well water, or went
The hotel was just a block or two walk to the Danang Hotel
for meals, movies and the EM Club. I have no idea why the unit
left the hotel to go to its next location which was a barracks
just across the street from the Danang Hotel and behind the
marine barracks. This happened in the fall of ’67.
This was a major step down in housing arrangements in that we
went from a couple of people per room, with showers in the room,
to a regular barracks environment. Communal bathroom and
showers, iron bunk beds, and a personal locker. Despite
the step down, it was still incredibly convenient to the Danang
Hotel – you never had to worry about making it back
"home" after a hard night of downing adult beverages
at the club. (Continued Below)
|At the Enlisted Men's Club -- DaNang Hotel
Photo Credit: Daryl Tucker,
"B" Detachment, Reproduction Section, 1967-1968
|Above: A Korean entertainer performs at the
EM Club at the DaNang Hotel in 1968.
In the spring of ‘68 the unit moved into the Modern Hotel
which was as significant a step up in accommodations as the move
from the Palace Hotel had been a step down. If I recall
correctly, there were two or three people per room, hot showers,
an overhead fan which moved the hot air around more than it
provided cooling – but it was better than nothing, and rooftop
access for sightseeing on the river, or sunbathing. Convenient
access to the Danang Hotel was a little tougher. If you couldn’t
use a unit vehicle, or missed a ride, you had to thumb a ride up
the main drag, or hoped you caught the navy bus (cab?).
Returning was easier as long as unit members came back as a
I recall periodically pulling
evening guard duty in the foyer. Ostensibly, this was to guard the
Vietnamese guard who was providing security for us. Being somewhat naive
the first couple of times, I’d sit there with the lights on – never
contemplating that after dark this made me a nice target. The lights
also seemed to attract some of those 6-in long cockroaches.
don’t recall if we had someone on guard duty during the day when the
mama-sans were coming into work. These ladies had a good thing going –
I think we paid them $10 a month – not sure if that was in MPC or
piasters – either way it was cheap. They’d wash and iron your
clothes, starch your fatigues, shine your boots, clean your room, and
make your bed. To make a little extra each month, they’d all run out
of laundry soap, or shoe polish, and ask for money to buy more."