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 Event Photography by Bob Thickman | Home > 
My Vietnam Experience - Navy Seabees
My time with the US Navy's Mobile Construction Battalion 4 (MCB-4) and my deployments to Vietnam - Chu Lai, 1966 and Da Nang in 1967.  There are no war photos, just photos I took with my first camera of the things and people that I saw.  This album is my 1st tour of duty, 1966 - Chu Lai,RVN. We replaced MCB-10 in Chu Lai, completed the construction of the Chu Lai airfield, PLO (fuel) dump and work on Highway 1.
Date(s): 1966 - 1968. Album by Artistic Concepts Photography. Photos by Bob Thickman. 1 - 38 of 38 Total. 4347 Visits.
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Boot Camp - Great Lakes
The officers and staff of Boot Camp Company 648... I was the Education Petty Officer (with the glasses) of the Company and was awarded the "I" for education excellence at graduation.

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Heading to Davisville A School
Don't really know which was better.. a Convair 440, or a C-130 transport.. both were uncomfortable.

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My 1st tour, Chu Lai - 1966
Camp Shields, named for the 1st Seabee to earn the Medal Of Honor in RVN.  Here is the center of camp, known as Wymola Park, placed by MCB10, added to by MCB4.  1st from the East, soon to be a West Coast Battalion

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Camp Shields
Camp Shields was right on the Gulf.  From here the 1000 Seabees put in airfields, worked on roads and worked with the villagers.

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Main street
The main barrack and office area at Camp Shields.

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Beach Front with a Penthouse
Yes, we generally slept on top... to many things crawled arpound inside.

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Camp Shields on the ocean front
The water was great...

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Ocean Front Condo
Another bunker on the beach..

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Speed Limit 15 mph
This was the entrance to the PLO dump.. that is where they kept the fuel storage.. it was a regular target for the Viet Cong.. and it bordered our base.

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repairs required
Looks like sand bag detail, in 110 degrees...

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Sand Storm
This is a sand storm, at high noon, in Chu Lai.. we would get these every once in a while, and they would last a couple of days.. lots of cleaning of everything following this.

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the Bee Hive
The BEE HIVE... the cooling off spot for the enlisted.. a neat little club..

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Chu Lai Playboy Club
This was, I believe, the Acey Ducey club.. for the 1st and 2nd class PO's

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The Village of Chu Lai
Main Street, down town Vietnam

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Another view
Scenes from the local villages.  It was not much, but it was all they had.

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local bus service
Seat belts anyone?  This bus is not full yet, there is no one on the roof.

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fire fight
The site of my first enemy contact..  I am in one piece, so I guess I won.

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Keeping watch
Yup, the only controlled area is where you are standing.

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yup thats me
Me in my normal attire... only thing missing is the beer (that is out of the picture).

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Marine 1 - waters edge
Chu Lia.. 1st Marines on the beach next to our camp.

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An A-4 Sky Hawk laying fire on the enemy
Victor Charlie was always close...

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Chu Lai Air Field
Under construction...

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Chu Lia AB
Chu Lia air base, which we were working on.. 1966, 1st tour.  A Warning Star Constellation shares the field with a MATS C-130

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Sunrise at Camp Shields
On out LAST day of the deployment... we are packed and ready to go.

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Sun up over Chu Lai
We are on our way to the field for departure to CONUS!

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Chu Lai airfield waking up
Our C-130 is being readied.  Homeward bound.

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Mount Pinatubo Philippines
Over the Philippines.. on to Japan.

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Japan under our wing
Our return flight took us to Japan, Nome Alaska, Travis Air Force Base in California... then on to Point Magu Naval Air Station.. home.

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The long flight home
I am so excited I can not keep my eyes open.. yes, that is a 1st class meal in my hand.  Coffee was plentiful.. 28 hours of flight from Vietnam to California.

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Traveling 1st class
The heaters in the rear of the C-130 did not work, so the back was cold, and the front was hot and humid and everywhere was uncomfortable.

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Home after my first tour
Arriving at home... A 15 day leave prior to heading to Camp Pendleton for advanced combat training with the battalion.

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Calif Home - 66 -0019 2 Cal66 web

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Calif Home - 66 -0020 2 Cal66 web

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Calif Home - 66 -0021 2 Cal66 web

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Calif Home - the enlisted mans club

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Training area
This is where we went through POW, escape and evasion training.. it was also used to rrain for finding bad guys in a ville situation.  Not exactly the most fun we experienced.

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Seabee Museum

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Calif Home -
This is where we went through POW, escape and evasion training.. not exactly the most fun we experienced.

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