Okay, time to talk Dollies
Here is their WEBSITE: http://www.donutdolly.com/
I never saw any Donut Dollies my first tour, although Dewey and Mike said they were in Duc Pho. When I went back in TET 68 with the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd I was assigned as the Brigade courier. Fluff job and I got to travel all over the country with orders that would bump anyone off anything flying up to 06, full bull Colonels. I used to fly from Phu Bai down to Saigon and had 5 days to get back. It usually took a half day max. One time the C-130 I was on had to stop in Quin Non (Sp) because of engine problems. Always was a good way for the flight crews to take a break. I also used to trade my .45s for 2 AF.38s. This time one of the pilots said I could stay with him at the BOQ and he would introduce me to the “Round Eyes” for a .45. It was a good trade. BTW I carried a Swedish K for a side arm. We ended up at a resort like building right on the beach. It had rooms with AC and the place next to it was loaded with Donut Dollies and nurses. I can still see the moonlit ocean with the palm trees swaying through my drunken stupor. Heaven right there in Viet Nam. I guess I spent almost every return trip to Phu Bai with a two to three day stopover until I rotated in June 68.
We could get real ugly here, but I’ll be nice and honest. The thing that I’ll always remember is that most of the girls I met were really just very young and confused about what was happening. I spent more time holding them while they cried than I ever did making out. It was a little strange. They liked to talk about home and “The World” just like we did. No lasting romance just a great time with great people.
When I went to work with the Red Cross in 97 I met a State Board member named Kaki Van Sickle at the National Convention in Richmond. We talked a little during the day and met up with the NC group in the lounge. We sat next to other and found out that she was in Quin Non at the same time frame. Never did put us together there, but after spending most of the night in the bar doing tequilas and a few boiler makers we figured out that we knew half the folks that ever served there. Ever since we have been great friends. In the bottom photo on Rita Babraitis’s site is Kaki: http://www.donutdolly.com/id28.htm#rita1
I have never thought to ask what her name was then and she has promised several times that she would submit her stuff to the web site and she hasn’t. Kaki came back to the states and started working for the State Employment Commission in the early 70’s. She went through 30 years of the Southern Good Ole Boy government and is now the Director of the Eastern North Carolina Employment Security Commission District. Only one of two in the State. She has always been a strong proponent of the Veterans in the State government. Unfortunately she is now on medical leave and has terminal cancer. It has been over a year now and she is still hanging tough. I love and respect her very much. She is the true patriot just as are all the others like her that served us and their country.
One more thought. If you look through the site and click on their pics you will find a bio and some have their VN photos posted like Rita’s. Kaki is now single and the majority of them are. She and I have talked about it and she told me that she has never been able to love anyone as much as she did the troops. I hope that makes sense because I definitely don’t want anyone to think she is not a super person.
You telling me they had donut dollies in Vietnam. Crap, I must have been hunkered down drinking a ba me ba. Me and sweets never got along anyway.
Donut Dollies smelled good and of course they didn’t have to be there, so it made them special. I don’t recall ever talking to one, except to say Thanks. I saw them on a FSB once (I think FSB Roy) and the time just before Christmas 69 when they came to Nuoc Ngot Bridge, A Co.’s CP. Everyone in the company got a green, not OD, pocket T-Shirt. Then the Donut Dollies went wherever they kept them and we went on ambush.
Here are two pictures taken Christmas Day “69 in Nuoc Ngot Vil by the Catholic Orphanage. Pictured are some of us from 2nd Plt A Co. Left to right rear row: Gary Serpanyak, Jack Ponson, George THE BEAR Tolsty, & Bill Rodriquez. Front left Dave Gonzales and me, Yankee Jim, front right.
More of 2nd Plt. Same day left to right rear row: Jerry Palmer, Jack Ponson, Rick Mendez, Frank SPERM Seeman, Jim Wynesickle Center row L to R: John BUTTERMILK Creekmore, Ralph White, Ed Cutler Front L to R: Dan ZACK Zackarian and Stan Solomon.
Since Christmas isn’t the same without a tree, I’ll share this picture of the one Alpha company had at Nuoc Ngot Bridge. Not a Christmas goes by without me remembering that sad tree. It was made from concertina wire had a star cut from a C-Rat case and was trimmed in hand poppers, frags and thump gun HE rounds. Here next to the tree is where the Donut Dollies gave us our gifts.
No Slack & Above The Rest!
Even as a Grunt I saw a few donut dollies. All you had to do was get shot and get sent to a hospital. It was probably Vietnam Fever but every Dollie I saw was beautiful. I met several great Donut Dollies in the Evac Hospitals of Chu Lai, Quang Ngai and Cam Rahn Bay.
My favorite Dollie memory came from August 16, 1967, C 1/327 had a short stand down and camped on the beach at Chu Lai (down south of the airfield and away from the “civilized” folks. We sent everyone out in the surf to clean up their jungle rot in the salt water. Up drives some hospital REMF and two Donut Dollies in a jeep. After some small talk and a lot of silver tongue effort by the Cobra grunts, one of the Dollies strips down to bra and panties and runs through the surf with the grunts. Morale was way up! Unfortunately, two days later, Cobra stepped into a hornets nest after a CA; I earned a medical trip through several hospitals and all of the 1/327 lost some great paratroopers. Does anyone else remember the Donut Dollies on the beach at Chu Lai.?
Steve Stevenson, 2-C-1/327
I remember that Xmas and the donut dollies. My name is Dale Grabb, I came in-country with Tom Brown, he went to Alpha 2/327th, and I went to Bravo 2/327th. Nov. and Dec. 68 Bravo pulled bridge security on the red ball one, I believe we were one bridge down from your bridge, sending out roving platoons, squads and fire teams on night and day time bushwhacks. G-2 got wind of a sizeable NVA force moving North and coming out of the near-by mountains. Alpha and Bravo companies were on line all along the railroad burm (probably about a mile of claymores and automatic weapons fire). It was unbelievable, the NVA point element was allowed to walk to just over the halfway point, where simultaneously three Fire-bases fired light right after the whole of Bravo opened up and chased the remaining NVA up and into Alpha, I can’t remember the body count, but I am sure the lifers were a proud bunch of mofo’s. This took place a little after mid-night, but I can’t remember the exact date. Shortly afterward, the entire battalion was CAed into the “Shaw”.
Is this Christmas 69 your recalling? I thought Bravo was at Troui Bridge located after FSB Roy heading down the Red Ball toward Camp Eagle, in the other direction was Delta Co. at Lan Co Bridge on the Red Ball past FSB Los Banos toward the Hi Vahn pass and Danang. Anyway I slept on that rock pile railroad track burm many a night bushen. Had two Troopers WIA 2/28/70 on top of it in a snafu with an NVA point team in-between my position and a portable radar team Just outside Nuoc Ngot Vil, this side of Hill 88. I just don’t recall the big ambush and know we didn’t go into the ASHAU. After the DDs gave us the T-shirts we went to a 2nd Battalion Standown at Eagle then back to the Vil on Christmas Eve, where I took the pictures of 2-A 2/327th wearing the Ts. Was this before or after 69 or do you have A Co. mixed up with another Co.?
I had a chance to see a donut dolly, once from about 300 meters. Just so happened that we were on our way to Los Banos for security and then a field trip. Must have been nice……….
I don’t know how good the DDs smelled at 300 meters but they must have looked real good. I enjoyed some time on FSB Los Banos, with the old rusting “bouncing betties” in the wire that would sometimes go off when it rained. Also one memorable evening/early AM enjoying some NVA mortar team trying to zero their tube onto the hill . The 105 battery couldn’t fire back because they were hugging 1-A 2/327’s grid square too close for safety. I think when the Marines named the place they chose wisely. Here’s two Los Banos pictures to help you remember the “good old days”. The first one is of three Brothers from 2nd Sqd. 2nd Plt A Co. NS! May 1970. The second is of the mortar pit and an Echo Co. Brother whose name I can’t recall. I also have a picture of me firing a round from this tube J but I can’t find it.
Donut Dollie, numba one round eye co! Seriously, I remember talking to one (1) sweet young thing for a period of about 5 minutes in 1966, before the ossifers took her away. Damned if I remember the occasion, or when, shit thinking about it, it mighta been 1967 (CSR). But I’ll always remember those few minutes with this round eye, short blond hair, blue eyes, sort of tom boyish and yes, she did smell good. Never saw her or any other DD’s before or after. They seem to have been pretty elusive, at least as far as us doggies were concerned.
My most vivid memory of them was when we had come to the rear area for a stand down. Most of the guys had bad jungle rot so, to heal it we would truck to the nearest beach and spend the day in the surf and playing football in the sand. One time we had a full company in the water, and of course, we were all butt naked, about that time two dollies came down the beach and actually had a tray of donuts and drinks. When nearly 100 naked men came charging out of the surf, all you could see was flying trays and elbows and legs churning. Like two deer caught in a spot light.
The donuts were great
I saw two on FB Rakkasan. They were on top of the arty messhall trying to get about 20 guys to play board games and bingo. We were all in from points west to rest and were too fried to do much but sit and stare. I remember how shocked I was to see them. It was one of many surreal moments I experienced during my field time from Mar-Nov. ’71.
Radio Intercept Operator-265th Radio Research Company