Bravo Company was not familiar with Hill 65 and the surrounding area. They had some limited experience on Charlie Ridge and in Arizona Territory. These were not good circumstances because they were charged with our security.
Their previous mess hall on Hill 10 (1/7) did not use Marines for mess duty. Local Vietnamese women were contracted to assist the cooks in keeping everything running smoothly (trash, scullery operations and food prep). Their cooks had managed things in a similar manner to the mess hall at our Battalion Headquarters on Hill 34 in Da Nang.
The tension between Bravo Company and the cooks became a divisive issue. I relayed this to Top Culverhouse and Gunny Pavelcek at our Sunday night staff meeting. They promised to resolve this controversy and requested “patience” from our cooks.
Sumo had an attitude about the situation and felt Bravo was taking advantage of us. My advice was to be tolerant and eventually things would balance out.
Making the situation even more difficult was the condition of the bunkers and sanitation on the Grunt end of the compound. Bravo Company was used to better accommodations on Hill 10, and they felt downgraded.