Saigon Story  by SGT Dennis O. Linn, B Co. 1st Bn 6th Inf, 70-71

[Note:  Dennis Linn was drafted into the Army.  He served in the 1st Battalion, 6th
Infantry as a platoon sergeant for the 3rd Platoon, B Company, until he became the
driver for the AMERICAL Division's Commanding General, Major General Baldwin.
Later in his tour in Vietnam he logged hundreds of hours in resupply helicopters for
B Company  troops in the field.  He supplied many of the first photos posted on the
web site, including several taken in Saigon. He can be reached at]
    I was glad to see the pictures of Saigon posted [on the web site].  It was a very interesting trip
and I'll tell you a little history about them.  This trip really came about because of my being fired by
General Baldwin. I, as an E-5, never thought I'd get involved in Army "politics" but I did.  My first "rear" job was as the CG's driver.  I got fired for insulting, unintentionally, General Walt who was at that time the Commander of the Marines, but that's another story for another time.  Now I thought I was in trouble but little did I know that for doing that I would be guaranteed not to go back out to the field.  I love politics!

     Anyway between leaving the driver's job and getting the job of providing resupply for B Co. I had a couple of jobs.   I was in charge of a guard tower on the beach for a week or two and then I, along with Joe Samanko, was assigned to take a prisoner down to the Long Binh jail, which was near Saigon.We strapped on 45's and went and picked this guy up from a Connex that had been made into a jail.  I don't know how long this guy had been in there, but it sure made me not want to get in jail.  The only place less inviting looking was the Long Binh jail itself.  Just a long metal wall all around with one metal door going in.  It reminded me of the middle ages.

     Now I had been around the drug culture enough to know some rudimentary things, like what uppers and downers, etc. were.  There were several drugs around and I had come in contact with them.  One of these was called barbiturate, more commonly called BT's.  Now this prisoner had some and my partner and I found out about it on the flight down to Saigon.  We had told this guy not to run or we would shoot him.  We weren't kidding.  We knew we would be in real trouble if he escaped.  Well, during this flight the guy was taking these BT's.  We didn't care, knowing that they were downers we knew if he kept a steady diet of these going he wasn't going to run anywhere.  I had seen guys in the rear area that were taking them and they couldn't walk a straight line if they had to.  It was really pretty sad. So, after flying all day, up to Da Nang and then down to Saigon we delivered our prisoner.

     We pounded on the metal door that was in the metal wall and two guards came out and got our man.  I could tell they were going to strip search him as soon as they got him behind that door.  I was glad I was staying on the outside.  A couple of minutes later one of the guards stuck his head
back out the door and asked us if we had observed him taking any drugs.  We just said no that
we hadn't noticed anything.  Knowing full well that this guy was smashed to the max.  He certainly
didn't give us any trouble, and that's what we cared about. After delivering our prisoner we had to spend the night before we could fly back up north. 

     Saigon was a mess.  Talking about your bad rush hours.  Large trucks down to bicycles and pedestrians all mixed up with no signals of any kind at most intersections.  No one paying any attention to lanes, etc.  It looked like chaos to me. The bush almost looked more inviting. We stayed in the "Presidential" hotel.  It was anything but Presidential.  It was a large whore house.

     Unfortunately or maybe fortunately I hadn't had time to go to the pay office and get any extra money.  When the ladies found out I didn't have any money they left me alone.  My innocence stayed in tact.  I wouldn't doubt that you would have gotten more for you money than you bargained for, although not  anything deadly like today.  I never did find out how Joe Samanko's night went.

     So, that was my adventure in Saigon.  Glad to see it and glad to get out.


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