February 17, 1968
Top Culverhouse joined our endeavor to be properly supplied with food. He told me his plan to share the food allotment journal with Gunny Sampson in Battalion Headquarters. It was an unofficial mission, and no officers were aware of the situation (Top believed they would complicate matters).
He rode the convoy to Da Nang promising to make a stop at the surplus food dock in FLC. He was also training a truck driver (PFC Wilson) to stop at this dock on the daily administrative mail run. Anything extra would help our predicament.
Meanwhile, Hill 37 mess hall continued to short our supplies. The India Company Sergeant who was interested in the food allotment met us as we arrived back from the supply run and asked, “Did you get the chocolate milk?” I answered, “No, and he wouldn’t give us evaporated milk for hot chocolate either.” Angrily he said, “I’ll do what I can.”
Later in the afternoon Top returned from Da Nang with a case of fresh bell peppers and large bags of onions and celery. Gunny Sampson sent two cases of dehydrated shrimp along with a message, “Help is on the way.”
Sumo was excited about the extra ingredients and was planning a classic Japanese stir fry for Monday night. During his training in the Sumo kitchen in Iwakuni Japan, he learned to make Udon noodles and they were a major part of his menu plan.*
The Sergeant from India Company came in toward the end of dinner and announced his acquisition of 10 cases of chocolate milk. He had threatened to complain about the shortage issue to the Sergeant Major of 3/7. The Mess Sergeant at Hill 37 also gave him two cases of evaporated milk.
It was a good day for the Hill 65 mess hall, but I knew the root of the problem was having to depend on another unit to supply us. The “Help is on the way” message from Gunny Sampson intrigued me . . . right now we just needed another cook.
* See previous “Sumo” blog
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