From:  Forest Brandt

     Sent:  April 25, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

What!  Where are the screens over the windows?

Forrest

    From:  David Gale

     Sent:  April 24, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

Robert, This was taken in 1969 early in the year.  So the old bus was still running!!  I wonder if you had the same driver, a nice guy. David


    From:  David Gale

     Sent:  April 24, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

Many of you remember this old gem?  I recall GI's would try to get on to take them to San Francisco!!  Just a memory now.

    From:  Bob Nelson

     Sent:  April 25, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

They were there in 65.

Bob N

    From:  Robert Tucker

     Sent:  April 24, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

David, What year, looks like the one we rode in '71-72.

Robert Tucker

    From:  Jim White

     Sent:  April 25, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

The Bus--Some History The buses we all rode in Saigon were operated by a Japanese company named "Kokusai Kogyo" (International Industries).  This company had its beginnings shortly after the end of World War Two when  it was established by Kenji Osano a somewhat shady, "behind the scenes entrepreneur and politician" who had been able to keep most of his fortune intact through the economic turmoil during and after the war.  I first saw these buses in Tokyo in 1954.  At this time the U.S. Forces were still located "all over the place" and these buses furnished a very good alternative to riding the overcrowded trains.  They were, of course, limited to those with military or U.S. civilian ID cards and traveled from point to point (installation to installation) only.  The number of buses and routes began to shrink drastically from around 1957 as the U.S. Forces moved out of downtown Tokyo, but I remember riding a Kokusai Kogyo work bus from Washington Heights to Fuchu Air Station for a while in 1960 and again on a route from Grant Heights to Green Park, Kanto Mura and Fuchu Air Station as late as early 1970.  All of them have long since disappeared.  Kenji Osano, however, continued to be a power broker and was involved in the "Lockheed Scandal" of 1976 which brought down the Kakuei Tanaka government.  I saw the same company running the U.S. Forces buses in Seoul in 1970 and, of course, again in Saigon in 1970-71.  I know that they were "Kokusai Kogyo" buses because they had the company's name on the sides in Japanese.  The only difference, other than the nationality of the driver, was that the buses in Tokyo didn't have hand grenade barriers over the windows.  Oh yes, the steering wheel had been moved from the left (Japanese style) to the right (American/Korea/Vietnam style). Here's a photo from the back of the bus on its way from the Iowa BEQ to the Station taken in August 1970.

Jim

AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Dick Ellis

     Sent:  April 25, 2013

Subject:  Old Bus

I  thought the same thing and if you look close you can see them on the bottom of the windows...(right side).

Dick

    From:  Robert Tucker

     Sent:  April 24, 2013

Subject:  Old Picture

David, If memory serves, which these days is questionable, it was replaced not too long after I arrived in Saigon, June of '71.  Sorry, I don't remember the driver,

Robert


AFVN Work Bus

April 2013

Memories of going back and forth to work.