Monday, March 18, 1968
We were still serving fewer meals because two platoons of India Company were assigned to An Hoa and Hill 41. Sumo and Reb were working well together, and Cobby was good with doing prep work in the galley. I decided to take the convoy to Da Nang to check out the logistics of us making the daily food run.
Major Catoe sat shotgun in the cab with PFC Wilson, and we made the 20-mile trip in record time (just over an hour). After dropping off Catoe at Battalion Headquarters, Wilson and I headed to FLC and checked out the dock containing items up for grabs. There was a stack of cases with markings from New Zealand. It was labeled “Lamb Roast – Rolled and Tied.” There were no takers so we loaded three cases into the truck. At the bakery we were surprised to find some trays of day-old hot dog buns and added them to our load.
As we started back, I noticed a salvage yard of broken down vehicles. We stopped, and I found a guard shack/office and inquired about the status of the vehicles in the yard. Everything was destined for Seattle, Washington, but parts could be salvaged if you had the tools. I asked about the refrigeration unit on a trailer filled with shrapnel holes, “If you have the tools, you can take it.”
Back at Headquarters we ate lunch, and I spied Gunny Sampson snooping around in our truck. When we finished, Wilson walked to Admin to get the mail bag, and Sampson came out to the truck where I was waiting. He handed me a square tin of dried rosemary and suggested we make a paste of vegetable oil, salt and garlic powder with the dried rosemary . . . then rub the paste on the lamb before roasting. I thanked him, and he said, “The 1500 gallon water truck was approved.” It came as a shock – I never really expected it to happen!
On the way back to Hill 65, I was lost in thought about the refrigeration unit . . . would it be possible to construct a walk-in? (Leggs would know.) Wilson broke the silence, “You be thinking real hard, Sarge.” I answered, “Yeah, maybe too hard.” Then he confided, “You got a lot of respect for doing that BBQ pit, and Major Catoe thinks Ptomaine is an unfair name.” I wondered if the name was actually helping me.
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