Northeast of Hill 37 was a territory Marines had nicknamed “Dodge City” which was an NVA stronghold and part of the rocket belt surrounding Da Nang. A year ago I mistakenly hitched a ride on a truck going to Hill 65. The truck took a different route because it was late in the day; it was my only visit through the Hill 55 complex. At the south gate the guards said there were no security escorts so the decision was to make a run to Hill 37 through Dodge City. It was a race against the setting sun, a flat road through rows of palm plantations. We made it unscathed . . . we were lucky.
South of Dodge City was an area designated as Go Noi Island (another stronghold). Part of the boundary of Go Noi was the Thu Bon River. There was never a time in 1968 that either Dodge City or Go Noi Island was under American control. It was just as bad as, if not worse than, Arizona Territory. The NVA held these regions, and the river served as transportation for enemy supplies via boats and sam-pans.
Kilo Battery guns could reach Dodge City and Go Noi, but we didn’t get many fire missions in that direction. When we did fire eastward, the outgoing blast produced a heavy concussion to the structures on our side of the hill.
This extra buffeting was more than annoying . . . the unfinished staff club took a beating from a fire mission in that direction. It was obvious that liquor bottles would not survive this kind of pounding. Gunny Pavelcek solved the problem using empty #2-1/2 size peach cans. They were bolted in place and held the bottles quite nicely.