Willy R Scuttlebutt
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Posted by Rich Schuck on 10/10/2005, 1:55:56, in reply to "Re: Vietnam
I was in Chu Lai during Typhoon Hester in Oct 71. We were the 4th QM bakers at the bakery, a platoon of about 20 guys. We had 6 hooches before the storm and not much left after the storm. We spent the time during the typhoon inside our large all metal bakery building, and made a safe area inside with palletes full of flour in case the building callapsed. When the eye hit we got into our duce & a half and went down to the 226th S&S company area by the bay. It was so calm we could hear birds chirping; which seemed odd at the time because I never recalled hearing birds chirping before. I remember the waves being very high 10 - 12 ft or more. We didn't stay long as the winds were picking back up, and hightailed it back to our building. In checking our hooches they were severely damaged. My hooch was half tore down from winds that were spinning in a clockwise direction. We salvaged what we could in the few minute available before the storm regained its strength. The storm came back through and it was dark before all was quiet again. During the storm I recall looking outside and seeing a piece of corrugated roofing fly down the roadway like a piece of paper - would have cut a person in half if it hit you. We heard we had winds over 150 mph. Heard 80 percent of chopper fleet was destroyed. That night it was very eerie as there were no lights anywhere. We were all on alert but didn't end up worrying too much because as bad as we were hit, charlie was hit worse. We were lucky our steel building was built very well and withstood the storm pretty well. Our hooches were totally destroyed and we moved our living quarters into the steel building till we could rebuild the buildings. The storm went through in a counter-clockwise rotation as the eye passed on, thus the total destruction of our buildings. I left Chu Lai for DEROS three weeks later, and our unit stood down two weeks after that. We were attached to the 226th S&S company and heard that a Captain was crushed to death during the storm.
Typhoon Hester was one bad ass momma. I was put in for the Bronze Star and Arcom as a result of Hester but never got them.
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