The Navy Has a Christmas Party

David Freeman

Christmas Day should have been quiet. Both sides had declared an informal truce during the Christmas 1971 -New Year 1972 season, and we expected no real activity. But activity came, and it came in an unexpected way. We got a call from Rach Gia (pronounced “Rock Jaw”), a small town on the west coast. The U.S. Navy forces stationed there had been having a Christmas party and some of them were getting sick. Food poisoning was the diagnosis by the on-site Navy medics. Some jumbo shrimp they were eating had apparently gone bad.We scrambled both First and Second Up and put the Standby crew on alert. By the time we had made the half hour flight to Rach Gia, many of the men had become violently ill. Our medics started IV’s, treating the victims for shock. Vital signs were deteriorating rapidly for some of them.First and Second Up made two trips apiece and the Standby crew made one trip before we had them all in the hospital. The doctors and nurses at the Third Surg had to pump the stomachs out of over half the twenty-six men that we brought in. They told us that without prompt medical attention, some of those men would have died. In a unique way, Dustoff had once again performed their lifesaving mission.

By David Freeman

Professional dedicated to training and equipping people to live safely in a dangerous world.

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