Reb usually finished his night baker duties during the morning meal. Sometimes he would help on the line, backing up and replenishing food, where needed. His shifts were 12-14 hours long, and he almost always worked alone. Lately his helper (Private Nye) assisted Reb through the night, doing whatever he was assigned. This morning Nye completed his time on mess duty and headed to Hill 37 to check out and then return to CONUS. Reb was relieved that he was gone because he never really trusted Nye.
Gunny Pavelcek enlisted Reb’s help to “lay out” the parameters of the new staff club. We didn’t have a proper chalk line so engineer stakes were driven into the ground and com-wire was stretched between them. Then Reb carefully marked the outline, using baking flour. The structure would be terraced into the eastern slope of the hill, and it would have a spectacular view of the An Hoa Basin and Arizona Territory. The digging and excavation of dirt and rock was underway by 0900. The work was done in shifts, and I took a turn with a pick and alternated shoveling.
After completing my stint of manual labor, I returned to our hooch to shower before lunch. Normally Reb would be sleeping, but he was still up and in a panic . . . his military ID was missing from his wallet. Sometimes at night in the bakery, he would place his wallet on the flour-board (he said it bothered him when he rolled out the dough).
After looking everywhere, we gave up and reported the missing ID to Top Culverhouse. Reb suspected Private Nye had taken it, but he did not make any accusations. This now would require Reb to make a special trip to Da Nang for a replacement ID.