Nha Trang at the Special Forces HQ Compound

Nha Trang Enlisted Mess Hall

Dairy Queen hits the beaches of Nha Trang at the Special Forces HQ Compound.  Ice cream, you scream ice cream before it melts.  Only open during Monsoons, 0 dark thirty till the rain stops”. Ed Yaroborugh

I  believe it had soft-serve ice cream cones and various related concoctions (sundaes, etc.). -Earl McMillan,

The SFOB Dairy Queen was going strong in the summer of 1969, out front of the enlisted club. The so called ice cream was sour, or made from sour milk or something. – John   Photo by Tom Leonard 

When I first went to the 5th SF Group Compound in Nha Trang (1965), we had NO enlisted men’s club, top three club, an Officers Club – or anything else to differentiate between ranks.  All personnel admitted, drank, ate and partied together at a hooch turned into a club.  The structure backed up to the fence line was called the “Playboy Club.”  I was there when Barry Sadler was playing his “Ballad of the Green Beret” about a hundred times per day.  Its personnel fed me while I was recovering from my wound in a hooch near the club.  Once I got on crutches, I went there by myself and ate. The club had every kind of beer sold in Asia – usually a special on White Swan (?) from Australia. We could get it from Australia on most Air Force flights rotating out of the country for 1,000 hour maintenance.  So, it was cheap. It had about 20 slot machines around the walls and that turned a Hell of a profit for the club. Once the Group Commander decided to allow a few auxiliary personnel into the club, they added a screened area on one side of the club and had live entertainment.  Julio Rodriguez of Warner Robins, Georgia attended a show in the Fifth Special Forces Camp Play Boy Club at Nha Trang Air Base in 1965. The show featured “The Old Lady of the Boondocks,” another nickname given to Maggie, and her performance brought hysterical laughter to the audience.” Her antics on stage were in the true sense of “above and beyond.” Few people would have had the courage to put themselves in the position of self-humiliation, but she did it just to make us laugh!” After the show Ms. Raye was signing autographs. I only had a Military Pay Certificate for paper, but she signed her name on a five-cent note, which years later I would lose. I no longer have her signature, but she and her show are locked away in my memories. “For a short time, she allowed me to escape the lousiness of war and drowned me in laughter. I had a newborn son whom I had never seen and thought that I possibly might never see. Colonel Maggie was the only ‘sane’ person over there, and she brought us all the sanity of laughter in an otherwise insane situation. “A few days later, the club was the target of rockets and mortars and, though it was destroyed, Colonel Maggie and her memories live on. “She touched many lives, and I am thankful that she touched mine. I have only one regret…losing my Military Pay Certificate with her signature. She was every serviceman’s link to the joy of life and laughter.” I’m sure there is much more but that is the gist.  I don’t remember the club ever being blown up.  When I separated for OCONUS in January, 1967 the rules had been changed.  There was an Officers Club, and an NCO Club both down the street near the Mess Hall.  You had to be operational in Special Forces to go to the Playboy Club..Check with some other old timers who might remember.  Send along this draft.