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Nha Trang - The Veterans
Where are they now?

SP4 Al Cross Carto

1966 - 160lbs. - 20 yrs old
In 569th when: Dec '65 - Dec '66

2002 - 260lbs - 57 yrs old
From: Baltimore, MD
MOS: Map Compiler
What you did: Worked in the Photo Van
ETS: 30-Jun-67
Living Now In: Marlton, NJ
Maritial Status: taken :-)
Present Work: Private Investigator
Birthdate: 13-Sept-46
Phone: N/A
Contact Email:

Memorable Vietnam Experiences and Friendships

Wow! Experiences... Arrived there in Dec '65 during the monsoons. Was directed to grab a cot upon arrival at Tent City and rack out. The cot was mouldy and stunk. Welcome to Vietnam. Was one of the first replacements in the company that came over on a boat thru Hawaii in August, 1965. (I flew over) Met some great people there, among them are Denny Whitmire, Jerry 'Bonehead' Miller, Steve Pepke, Dino Storelli, Bill Huff, Ron Thompson, Steve Melick. Can't forget the back porch that was built by wood 'donated' from the 5th Special Forces Group in the compound. Used to have a lot of parties there. I think we even celebrated Tuesdays there. Have to jog the memory banks a little more. Used to run just outside of Tent City to 'The Strip" where the 569th would hang out at a bar/whorehouse called LyLy's. Had some good times there. There was a restaurant called Howard Jonhson's (loved the misspelling..) But, then again, there was the beach... How many beach bars were they? We couldn't remember all of the names so we called them by number, starting at #1 and working upwards, We used to hang at #8. I remember on Sundays, we would start our day off with what we called 'communion' at the Playboy Club at the 5th Special Forces camp. From there we would go downtown in 'cyclos' and hit the steam baths, etc. All in all it was an interesting time for me. The downside was being awakened in the middle of the night with incoming shells and stumbling to the sandbagged bunkers and praying that you didn't get hit. Clear after two hours and then try to get back to sleep again. I do remember playing a lot of volleyball. I remember the Bob Hope Show in 1965 along with Joey Hetherton. She was great.

I always thought that the biggest problem that we had was that we could not fight back at anyone. We would get shelled over and over again, but could do nothing.

I always thought that all of the politicians were in our corner. (I was young and dumb) I especially loved it when Robert Macnamara stated that he really thought that we shouldn't have been in Vietnam. What a waste.

All in all, I still have some fine memories from a beautiful city, a wonderful beach, a lot of cold beer and a great group of guys. I looked at the group of pictures on the site and found a dog named Itchy. When I left in Dec 66 we left behind a German Shepard by the name of Itchy. It was short for Itchy Bon Oki (sp?). That was supposed to be Japanese for 'number one dog'. I think the dog was named by Bill Huff. Let me know when Itchy was around. Had to be the same one. The only one that I've been in touch with has been Denny Whitmire in N. Boston, NY. Let's do something, guys...

2001: Same old same old.                 

Life after Vietnam: Did thirteen years in the Maryland State Police as a Trooper. Started my own business as a Private Detective in NJ. Got married for the second time in 1980 and still going strong to a great lady, Dee.       

Future Plans:
Let's do a reunion...       

Editor's Note:
I wish everyone took the time to write about as many memories as Al has here... Howard Jonhsons. :-) I remember that. I also remember some tall ice teas and banana pie at one of those many beach bars!  

NOTE: This site is very old by Internet time. I work on it when I have time which is unfortunately not very often these days... If you discover broken links or have problems with any area of the site please Email me at: 569thsupport Email     and I will see if I can fix it when I have time. Thank you for your understanding. -- J.C.

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