I was stationed with F Battery 26th TAB in Dong Ha for several months before being reassigned to 8th Battalion 4th Artillery. We didn’t have a wrecker and always had to borrow one, frequently from the 8/4th, to retrieve one of our vehicles; they were either breaking down or getting shot up.
My platoon sergeant awakened my section one night, told us to get dressed, and meet him at the motor pool tent. The tent was light-proof and when we got inside, there was a brand-new, Marine, 5-ton wrecker. It seems that he and another sergeant had “borrowed” it.
There were a number of men in the tent and we all set about to “convert” the vehicle. By dawn, it was OD, had fake serial numbers on the hood and bumpers, had a logbook to show that all maintenance had been performed, and the odometer had been rolled forward. This was a good “ fake” Army truck.
My sergeant presented it to the Battery Commander after breakfast and he almost wet his pants -- complaining to the sergeant that we could all get court-martialed for stealing a vehicle. The old sergeant shrugged his shoulders and ambled off promising to get rid of the vehicle. It was sitting on the deep-water pier in Da Nang the next morning, waiting for anyone who wanted it; F-26 was rid of it -- and for all we know, the Marines, with a guilty conscience, probably stole their wrecker back.