The Bob Hope Show at Camp Evans and
Our Amazing Return to the DMZ
By Larry Martin

About a week before Christmas in 1970, the call came down for anyone that had a day off (up to 3 of us) to be at the helipad for a trip to the Bob Hope Christmas Show at Camp Eagle. The memory gets fuzzy, but I think there was a guy named Ayers from Ohio and Steve Bennett from Wisconsin and I, all from C Battery that managed to get on the Ranger for the trip to Dong Ha. There we got in a deuce ration van for our ride to Camp Eagle, about 12 to 14 of us in all.

When we arrived at Eagle, all of the seats were taken, so we proceeded to the front and sat on the band instrument boxes. I have pictures to prove this. Anyway, the show kicked off with Bob doing his usual thing. For guests, he had Johnny Bench, Lola Falana, the Ding a Lings, and the Gold Diggers. (Those are the guests that I remember). While Bob was interviewing Johnny Bench, he asked him what he said to the umpire when the ump had made a bad call, and Johnny would turn around and look at the ump. Before Johnny could answer, one of our guys yelled "F--- You". Of course, that got a big laugh out of everyone including Bob.

After the show was over, we loaded in the van and started back to Dong Ha. We made it as far as Evans when the clutch went out of the deuce. They fed us some horse c--k, and put us up for the night in the transient barracks there.

The next morning we were out on Highway 1 trying to hitch a ride. Two ARVNS in a deuce stopped and picked us up. Everything was going OK until we crossed a bridge and started up a hill and the deuce started missing and sputtering, obviously out of fuel. We coasted over to the side of the road and stopped. As we were starting to get off the truck to look for our next ride, the passenger door flew open and the assistant driver jumped out and motioned for us to stay on the truck, saying over and over, "No sveat GI, No sveat". We watched as (and I'm not making this up) he started gathering rocks and dumping them in the fuel tank. When he got enough rocks in there, the fuel level raised enough to start flowing into the fuel line and we made it up the hill. We got to an outpost (on the right side of Highway 1 surrounded tight by wire) and pumped some fuel into the tank and made it back to Dong Ha later that day.

One of the guys made an observation that 200 years from now when some archaeologist digs up that truck and examines the fuel tank, he will wonder what we were using for fuel.

We eventually made it back to Charlie Battery, and I will always be glad for the opportunity to see Bob Hope (live) in action. He is one of us.

Larry Martin