When the C-130 (56-0472) came in and
the right wing burned off, and
after the fire was out and all the Air Corps had departed, "somebody"
was up in the cockpit flipping switches and pulling handles to "see what
One of them was the "ejector" button
for the left overwing liferaft.
Button got pushed, hatch between the two engines flew open, and an
orange 20-man life raft erupted. CIDG fled before WTF ever it was could
Once it finally got fully inflated,
and a few of the CIDG had returned
to the scene, I got them to haul the liferaft down the runway and into
the camp. Since it was late May, it was hot enough that it made sense to
fill the raft with water and enjoy a cooling dip in the "pool".
About Day Two or Three, a bunch of our
folks were in the "pool" after
supper.... just cooling off, or washing hair, or bathing, and perhaps
enjoying a libation (or three). Started getting mortared... beer,
soapsuds, and naked asses flew in all directions.
The pool was KIA. The rest of us escaped
Oh, included in the liferaft were a
number of dayglow orange life vests
with the little CO2 cartridge. I had an operation out to the NW of the
camp shortly after the aircraft burned and we had to cross the Katum
"river" or WTF ever it was called. We're sneaking around, trying to be
quiet and candelstine, and all of a sudden there were about 25
"whooshes" as CIDG inflated their lifevests. Those orange vests made us
somewhat easier to see.
Reg, knowing it's hard to run w/ soapsuds in eyes