Garland Lively, who served in the 161st from March 1967 till February 1968, contributed the following story.
While living at Pelican Roost I had a pet monkey named George who served as the gun platoon mascot for awhile. I bought George for forty dollars and brought him back to the compound where the entire company (except the RLOs) fell in love with him. We constructed a little hooch for him behind the officers quarters and kept him tied to it on a leash. He had a little tin cup, and he would sit next to the PSP sidewalk and when someone would walk by with a soda or beer, George would beat his cup on the sidewalk and beg for a drink. If you failed to share with him, he would bit you on the back of the leg as you attempted to walk away. It was rather like a tollbooth on a turnpike. You either paid George or he would nail you.
We decided that George needed an air medal and attempted to take him for a ride. George was terrified when we began cranking the turbine engine and clung tightly to the crew chief. When the aircraft broke ground and the wind begin rushing through the aircraft; George went crazy and broke from the crew chief. We closed all the doors and finally climbed high enough that it cooled off enough that the crew chief was able to subdue George. He never got this air medal.
George soon learned how to untied his leash and while I was out flying he would escape and terrorize the company area. He was especially fond of raiding the mess hall. The Vietnamese helpers were terrified of him and would flee in horror when he entered the facility. George would then race through the area and steal vegetables.
In the evenings we would release George and the pilots would gather behind their hoochs to observe his antics. He loved to swim in the creek between our hoochs and battalion headquarters. We also had a small male dog named Snoopy that would play with George for hours. Sometimes Georges hormones wold become over active and he would attempt to mount Snoop from the rear. This was exceeding the bounds of friendship that Snoopy was willing to endure and a fight would result.
When we went to the beach George always went with us. He would sit straddled on someones neck, holding onto the hair for support. He had the disgusting habit of urinating down the back of our necks during these trips. On one excursion to the beach George, who was being carried by Kenneth Jackson, begin to pick at Jacks ear with this finger. George suddenly lost control of himself and attempted to ram his penis into Jacks ear. We almost had a dead monkey on our hands as a result of that action. From that point on we devised other means of transport.
We frequently visited other clubs in the area at night and at times we carried George with us. One night we entered the officers club at the hospital and a nurse was sitting on a barstool with a dress on. George broke loose from us and scrambled up the barstool and nosed himself up under the nurses dress. We were promptly asked to leave and requested to never return.
George eventually met his downfall when he managed to engineer one of his escapes and wandered into the Commanding Officers hooch. Major Galla had just received a new box of Dutch Masters cigars, which were sitting above his bunk. George sit in the middle of the majors bed and shredded every one of the cigars to pieces. Not satisfied with this efforts he then emptied an entire can of shaving cream onto the bunk and spread it all over the shredded cigars. When I returned from my mission that day the operations officer informed me that Major Galla wanted to see me ASAP. Major Galla showed me the carnage and gave me twenty-four hours to get rid of George. The next day Kenneth Jackson and I carried George to a nearby firebase and traded him to some GIs for two cases of coke. Ive often wondered how many units in Vietnam George was involved in. Im sure he never remained anywhere for long before being "Transferred".