Friday April 12, 1968
Reb woke us up at 0500, and everything was set up and ready to start breakfast. I checked the temperature log, and it registered 50 degrees at midnight and 45 degrees at 0300. We were hoping it would drop below 40 degrees.
We opened the mess hall at 0600, and Leggs was first in line. He grabbed a Bigfoot and a cup of coffee, and we headed for the walk-in for another temperature check. Before we opened the door, he wanted to check the makeshift door seals. When the compressor turned on, he felt and listened around the edges of the door . . . it was leaking. We checked the temp, and it was just below 40 degrees.
Leggs didn’t want to mess with the thermostat and decided to try and fix the weather stripping. He and Reb made a plan to use strips of rubber from tire tubes to secure the leaks.
Later in the morning Sumo and I were preparing lunch when Captain Robb came in and ordered breakfast, “I’ll have two strips of bacon, a scrambled egg and a glass of tomato juice.” The fact that breakfast had been over two hours ago didn’t faze him. We pulled a burner out of an oven and put it in the small flat grill and cooked his order while he waited (the tomato juice was warm). He took his food and asked me to join him while he ate.
Robb had a proposal: He would supply us with an extra mess man if I would have someone serve in the officers mess. I took no time to think or answer, “No Sir, the Steward MOS has been disbanded.” He was curious as to how I knew this so I explained that I had been a steward for a short time. Robb wasn’t satisfied and said, “I will talk with Captain Cavagnol about this issue.” I kept things official and said, “Yes Sir, Aye-Aye Sir,” and left the dining room.
I went directly to the Exec Pit and asked Cavagnol if we could talk privately. I told him everything that had happened between Robb and me and made it clear that I had been respectful. He said, “You served him bacon and eggs at 0900?” “Yes Sir,” I answered. Cavagnol was Pissed! He thought for a minute and said, “I will handle this . . . if anything else happens, keep me informed.”
The seal on the walk-in door was fixed, and the temperature fluctuated between 35 and 40 degrees. The compressor ran about 10 minutes every half hour, and Leggs thought this was normal. We were now ready to draw our own allotment from FLC and would wait for Major Catoe to make it official with the brass at Hill 37.
Next Edition: R&R Itinerary