Thursday, April 24, 2014


Least We Forget.....

Ever been scared...I have, a few times.
I mentioned earlier in this blog about Cambodia...being driven south out of the capital of Phnom Penh and wondering who the soldiers were walking along the highway with really big guns. 
I said to my driver "I didn't think Cambodia had an army."
     "Oh those not Cambodia soldiers....those NVA!"
North Vietnamese walking to kill Americans.
         "I hope you don't have a flat tire".
         " Oh you just tell 'em you Canadian!".
Yeh....sure.  with an American passport in my pocket.
      It's strange...I wasn't at all scared as we passed another small group.  This continued for awhile...just small groups of five or six NVA soldiers and then we saw no more.
     Some 87 members of the worldwide press were killed in that southeast asian conflict...including NBC's famed correspondent Wells Hangen along with his cameraman German born Peter Bellendorf. (see link below)
     Peter was quite a guy...he kept a boa constrictor in his Saigon apartment as he was on long assignments and needed some kind of surety against break-ins!
     I chatted with him over coffee one morning and ask him if he was ever afraid out in the field.
He whipped out his wallet and slipped a picture of Ho Chi Minh out and showed it to me.
"My insurance out there.  They won't kill a guy carrying this!"
     Sad to didn't work.
     Regarding Wells Hangen...he came into the Saigon building that housed NBC, AP and several other news organizations on special assignment and made the mistake of taking the elevator which everyone knew didn't work well.  It took some time to get him out.  Moral to this...beware of French made elevators...or plumbing or telephones!
     As I said I wasn't really scared when passing the enemy solders on the fact it is strange that years later as I think and write about this I am more tense about it now...knowing now that a lot of press folks and friends...did not come out of Cambodia alive.

Least we on this link:

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