Top Culverhouse ordered Fernando to report to the Headquarters Battery motor pool as soon as he arrived in Da Nang. The Admin truck always pulled a trailer in case there was a surprise delivery.
Today the surprise was a brand new truck. The M-35 2½ ton vehicle had all the bells and whistles. The cargo bed was sporting a canvas canopy which made it difficult when transporting troops (there were always 4-6 Marines in the back). The cover was raised on the sides before returning to Hill 65. It was a tactical issue in case of an ambush.
Back on the hill it was decided to remove the tarp and supports, leaving the side rails in place. The fold-down bench seats provided a better ride for the occupants.
During mail call I received a formal invitation to attend a gathering at Division Food Service the next day . . . it emphasized “mandatory.” I asked Culverhouse, “What is a mandatory gathering?” He was quick to answer, “It means be there on time and don’t volunteer any information.” This sounded like trouble to me.