Every trip to Da Nang was a scrounging mission. We had taught Fernando the secret of filling out a CODE-X slip at FLC to exchange damaged equipment. This was our routine for nearly a year, and amazingly some units were still discarding exchangeable gear.
Fernando spotted two immersion water heaters in a dump near Hill 34. After dropping off Lieutenant Curry at the BAS, he doubled back and snagged the rusted inventory. It was an easy exchange at the Supply Desk at FLC . . . no questions were asked, and we now had two new (in the box) heaters.
Although Fernando wasn’t a cook, he lived in our hooch and participated in mess hall activities. It was a mutual arrangement we all benefited from. Occasionally he would come up with an idea or scheme . . . he knew how to improvise. Fernando suggested we set up a 55-gallon drum of water (with a heater) near the dump to be used for rinsing the empty GI cans and the bed of the trash truck. This would help keep flies away from the mess hall.
We implemented this idea, and the fly problem was diminished. Gunny Pavelcek supervised the dump and trash detail. This new feature was also used for cleaning other gear and flushing the piss tubes (urinals) with hot Pine-Sol water.