​by Jim Brady Army Vet/former Oxnard, CA. resident...

Short little story. We had a major typhoon roar thru our area (Phu Bia 1971). Everyone was ready for it, and we had to chain our aircraft down to the PSP (Perforated Steel Plate) on the flight line - and generally tie everything down that we possibly could in the Company Area.

The storm came thru as expected. No casualties or major damage. Two things though: the canvas and metal "Quonset hut" that the vehicle maintenance guys used came unglued and blew loose from it's moorings and rolled about 1/2 mile away. The only other damage in the Company Area was to the water tank that we used for a shower.

This water tank was just a huge wooden barrel - maybe 200 gallons - atop a wooden framework, with a common water spigot screwed into the bottom. This was our "shower" and also our source of drinking water. The shower itself was just a 10X10 'room' with screen all of the way around, and wooden pallets for a floor. There wasn't any electric lights or heater for the water or any of that. The tank was covered with a large tarp.

Anyway, the day after the typhoon, we went to cleaning up the Company Area.The large tarp was ripped off of the tank, so the First Sergeant detailed about 10 guys to go up ladders and put on a new tarp. These 10 guys climbed up the tank in unison as I watched.

They all seemed to reach the top of the tank at the very same moment, and suddenly all 10 fell off of their ladders and began vomiting on the ground. Every one of them! There must have been 15 or 20 of us watching, and we asked them what the heck was going on while we laughed our tails off at the sight.

Turns out that the water tank had hundreds of dead rats in it. That was what we'd been drinking and showering in. They cleaned out the tank, but I don't recall anyone ever making coffee or Kool-Aid afterwards.

Jim....Good Morning to you! That was an outstanding story and thanks for making it
realistic enough for the time and the area. May I have your permission to post it over
on the Seabee site where the guys are sure to relate and enjoy! Chief

Click to expand...
Sure thing, Chief. The SeaBees built our Camp and everything in it, so there is no need to ask. That our Company Area stood up to that storm is a real tribute to the skills of your guys - and it was made plain for all of us even back then.


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