Saigon:  I was at the Dai Nam Hotel on Trung Hung Dao Street.  It was built over the Dai Nam Theater. I was there from August to December 1969.  Right after Christmas, a Viet Cong terrorist set off a bomb in the balcony of the theater.  It went off about 10 minutes after the theater had emptied for the night.  I was in my fourth floor room, shaving and getting ready to head off to AFVN for my all-night radio news shift (around 10:30 p.m.).  The explosion jarred our building badly.  Lights went out...dust and debris everywhere.  I remember crawling down my hallway to the end of the hall to a big, open window.  A bunch of us jumped down to the roof of the building next door and ran like hell.  The next day, we were all moved to Cholon to the same hotel used by the MPs.  Can't remember the name.  I was there only a few days before I was sent up country in the aftermath of the Lawrence ordeal.  The digs at Hon Tre Island were a story in themselves.  But, more on that later!

-- 4-29--

Jim Allingham, SP5, USA (1969-1970) - 1