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In the midst of the tragedy of war, there are humorous moments

In the midst of the tragedy of war, there are humorous moments

A story by Roger Ek, Seawolf 25 from 1960s

I was part of the Seawolves, an all-volunteer Navy Helicopter Attack Squadron in Vietnam, whose primary mission to provide close air support to river patrol boats (PBRs). We escorted a Dutch freighter down the Long Tau shipping channel through the Rung Sat (Forest of Assassins in Vietnamese) from Saigon toward Vung Tau and as he headed out into the South China Sea, the Captain asked how we liked the beer.

"Beer? What beer?"

"The beer we left for you on the last trip. We gave it to the PBRs for you."

Hmmm. "Never give beer to the PBR sailors for ANYBODY Captain. It will be gone in minutes whether it's cold or not."

The Captain then lowered four cases of very good Dutch beer down to the PBR for us. We flew over to the PBR in our helicopter, they lowered their antennas and I flew along side the PBR at 35 knots as they handed the four cases of beer to my door gunner.

The Captain sent a nice thank you letter to my Commanding Officer (CO) along with photographs of the PBR handing beer up to my gunner. (Thanks a bunch Captain.) The Dutch have really good cameras. Yes, I have black and white photos including the one my CO sent to me along with a nice letter telling me to Never do that again!