Vietnam
TAN SON NHUT AIR BASE
Bob Hope Show, CHISTMAS 1966
377th Security Police Squadron,
TSN, 377th SPS; TUY, 31st SPS

© 2013 by Herman E. Paul

Telling it like it was!


Christmas 1966

I landed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base after dark, on Nov. 4, 1966, and I can remember seeing flares in the night sky, I wasn't sure what they were for but I was pretty sure they weren't a good sign. I had a wife and a five month old baby girl back home and I was really feeling the pull to be with them.

I'd only been  in-country right at a month and we'd already had a mortar/ground attack, so everyday I wondered what was gonna happen next.*

It was close to Christmas when we found out that Bob Hope and his troupe was gonna pay us a visit, it did perk me up a bit, even more so when I found out that I was gonna be one of a few that were to provide Security for them between the stage and their bus... I thought... "Man that's alright... Well the day came, it was fantastic... lots of famous people that a Hillbillie from the Missouri Ozarks would probably never see otherwise: Bob Hope, Phillis Diller, Vic Damoane, Billie Graham, Joey Heatherton, and more that I can't remember all just now.

I laughed... we laughed... and laughed--we loved those people and they seemed to love us too, it was wonderful.  We never wanted it to end--just keep going and we'll spend the rest of our time here just laughing.

Well, by the time the show was about to end, it was time to sing "Silent Night" (to this day I can't sing that song without tears in my eyes)... the time had come... THEY WERE LEAVING... and WE WERE STAYING--it was terrible--I hated it!

I knew it was time to make my way to the edge of the stage for their Security.  It was only about 20-30 yards from the stage to their bus.  Bob Hope didn't terry, he went straight to the bus, then a couple of others passed, then here came Phillis Diller, I'd always loved her humor, and she was from Webster Grove Missouri.  She had a big smile, she stopped and chatted with all that wanted to.  It must have taken her 30 minutes to get to me... I was anxious... she stopped in front of me and said, "Merry Christmas, Young Man"... I just beamed, and I told her... I love you and your humor, and you shouldn't make jokes about how you look, I think your a pretty woman, and she laughed that laugh of her's... threw her arms around me and said, HONEY... YOU'VE BEEN HERE TO LONG!

Herman Paul
377th AP, 31st SP,
1966/1967

* TSN AB, Stand Off and Sapper attack: 12/04/1966, 0110 hours:
   33 Rounds; 10 Aircraft damaged;
   3 USA KIA and 15 WIA;
   3 SVN KIA and 04 WIA;
   24 VC/NVA KIA and 04 WIA

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