Double God Damn! Major Mong is glad to see me. The damn 20 ton crane I wanted to have nothing to do with the moving of from Saigon to Soc Trang, is on the other side of the bridge at Phong Hiep, and I am just in time to join him in driving up to Phong Hiep to watch it cross.
Supposedly, QL-4 northbound between Soc Trang and Phong Hiep is secure, and we go up in two jeeps, me with flack jacket under my ass, steel pot and M-16 alongside.
Butch's battalion has constructed a float bridge built out of light tactical raft, and we need to get the crane across that? My battalion has already stripped the crane of it's boom and concrete counter balance on it's ass end. And, it is inching towards the bridge. "Wait," I shout. "Can you get the out riggers off, too?"
The sucker is as light as it can get, and inches onto the ramp of the bridge, and slowing down to a creep, crawls across. It's weight sinks the floating bridge just underneath, and I am certain disaster awaits. Sucker is top heavy, very heavy, too heavy for the type of bridge we have, and by the time the ass end gets on the bridge, the sections of the bridge are under water, and the crane is in water up to the top of the tires.
Slowly, it inches it's way across, and twenty minutes later, up on this side it comes! The impossible has been done, with no thanks to me!
We leave the crane and a crew behind to assemble it, and return to Soc Trang. The rest of the afternoon is spent in the same old way - boring the advisor out of his gourd! Hell, if nothing to do, the troops go to their quarters, to their wives and families!
Back in the Engineer House, we put the finishing touches on a small party. Butch is going home tomorrow! He is going to Ft Belvoir, and will be in an Engineer Officers Advance Course class starting in November!
Butch is going home, and I got 91 and a wake-up to do!