On Christmas Day 1970, a Caribou began to circle our firebase at
Bu Dop playing Christmas
music over its loudspeaker - who knew it even had that capability? A voice came
on the loudspeaker and told our Battery to meet them at our airstrip. We moved
as a group toward the tarmac. As the aircraft approached, we could see that it
developed a "personality" with the help of some red and white paint (photo
#1). As it landed and was still in a "fast taxi", a guy dressed as Santa
popped out of the top hatch with a sign that read "Peace" (you can see that in
photo #2, especially if you
enlarge the image). Even the
villagers next to our firebase stormed the airstrip, so the crowd was mixed with
A Battery guys and people from the village.
The Santa Bou parked and rolled out a fully stocked bar!! (photo #3) At 10 in the morning, our Battery began drinking like it was New Years Eve. The crew also tried passing out pens, paper, and envelopes so we could write home - all of us had tons of that, so most of those materials were quickly discarded. They only had 10 minutes of ground time, and announced "Last Call". By now, most guys had a drink in each hand! They rolled the bar back on the plane, fired up the engines and quickly departed. We were left smiling with a drink in each hand on an airstrip littered with paper and envelopes. Still one of the best Christmas surprises of my life.
Scott Krueger Then and Now