1. Gate for the District (Quận) of CủChi. The Củ Chi base camp was not contiguous with any village in Củ Chi, and the Củ Chi tunnels were (and still are) located out in the rubber plantations South of the village. We rarely went through the closest village, since the camp was to the East of iot and the road to Long Binh went straight East from the camp. When we went to Sàigòn or Vũng Tàu, however, we went right through it on Highway One. The whole district contained many small villages and hamlets, none of which were named Củ Chi.
2. One of the reasons why there were recreational facilities inside the Củ Chi Base Camp.
3. This is the cover of the flyer. Besides listing Carol, Gail and Terry, the picture of the saluting dog has the caption "And Loretta, too!!!!!!!!" underneath it.
Ann Kelsey, former librarian with Special Services at Cam Ranh Bay, came up with the following information:
You won’t believe this, but one of the few service club rosters that I
unearthed at the archives is from April 15, 1970. Therefore I believe
that Carol, Gail, and Terry are Carol A. Murphy, Gail Sanders, and Terry
Tucker. They were listed on the roster as Club Director, Program Director,
and Recreation Leader respectively. ... As for Loretta...she isn’t listed on the roster. :-)
You are correct as to location. The Ilikai East Service Club was located
at the 25th Inf. Div. in Củ Chi.
Doc Del (platoon medic - 1/5th & 1/7th, 1st Cav Div.), had this to add:
... If you permit me to digress for a
moment, what caught my eye was the name of the club, Ilikai East. Ilikai is
a Hawaiian word and the name of a hotel on Oahu. In 1970 and before, it
had, if I remember correctly, a pretty classy and expensive resturant and
club. Great music by big time jazz, blues, etc. at that time. Perhaps that
is why they adopted that name. I suspect someone who went to Hawaii for their
R&R might have stopped in that place, hence the name.
The Ilikai was where I took my first date after coming home from ’Nam. I
never could afford that club previously and I couldn’t afford it then. I
remember it being very expensive. But we were treated like royalty. The
one who served wine was told of my ignorance on the subject, so he gave me a
crash course, opening different bottles for us to try and not charging us
We had a great time there. But being broke after paying the tab and leaving
a generous tip, I reverted back to high school days where we went to the
beach, laid out a blanket and made passionate love until dawn!
Thanks for stirring good memories, Ivan!
Ann Kelsey then found some more information:
I was at a meeting today with two people who were in Củ Chi in
1966. Here’s the scoop. The service club opened in March 1966. It was
named the Ilikai East by someone named Sgt. Pasquale. He was in the same
platoon as my friend, Joe Barlow. Pasquale was from Hawaii and the 25th
Inf. had trained at Schofield Barracks, hence the name.
Doc Del replied:
Hmmm... had a little shakeup with this info as I was just going through the
KIA list of those from Hawaii this morning and remembered seeing the name
Pascual. So I pulled out my info binder and searched the name(because I
couldn’t tell from this writing if one of those two that you had the meeting
with was Pascual) and found the name of Floendo Pascual(SSGT), however, he
was killed in Nov. of ’65. So, I guess this is not him.
BUT, the mystery of how the club got its name has been solved.
4. Here’s the inside of the flyer. I think I have some pictures of one of the floor shows, and some pictures of the club itself. Some of these days I’ll scan them in, or at least I will when I find them! ...
5 & 6. So far, these are the only two inside shots I’ve found. There are several more, but they’re stored someplace else.
7. This is a picture of the back of Ilikai East. Not nearly as interesting;-)
8. Ilikai East was composed of two buildings. The club itself was in the larger of the two, on the left here, while the dressing rooms and offices were in the right part. The right building is the one shown in 7, above, with the jet fuel container converted to a water tank for showers.
9. This shows, from left to right, the Ilikai East main room, the dressing room building, our bunker (with someone on top, sunning himself), and our hooch, surrounded with low revetments and sandbags.
10. Our hooch. I don’t know who is on top of the bunker, but the fellow in uniform with the beer in his hand is SFC Jones, who was in charge for another month or so. This was taken in May or June of 1970.
11. Sunsets in Việt Nam always seemed spectacular.
12. A flight of Hueys.
13. A dress shop on Lê Lồi street.
14. The marine statue in downtown Sàigòn next to the Rex.
15 & 16. Two views of Papa-san wearing a cone hat.
For more pictures, click here.