I’ll Be Home for Christmas

I'll Be Home for Christmas

On This Date: Photo taken 12/15/1971

A bunch of G.I.s at Cam Ranh Bay, waiting for the plane that would take us home to the States. Most of us had had our tours cut short–mine by about 45 days–because the war was beginning to wind down. And because Uncle Sam likes to get folks home for the holidays. (Yes. Truly.)

Many of us would report to our next duty station in mid-January only to be told we’d be released from active duty within a week. That happened to me at Fort Dix; I was out of the army late in the month.

We boarded the plane and cheered when the wheels left the runway. But the real cheers came when we touched down in Seattle.

My Cam Ranh photos are the earliest I’m confident I can date. One (it’s of the parade ground) was taken on the 14th, four (more or less like this) were taken on the 15th, and three were shots taken through our airplane’s window of the sun rising over the Pacific on the 16th.

I’ve posted this photo before; it was the second image I posted to Flickr. It’s been 46 years and I still think this may be my best photograph.

Number of pix taken on various December 15ths: 613
Year of oldest photo: 1971

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 23
  • 2 Stars: 103
  • 3 Stars: 413
  • 4 Stars: 63
  • 5 Stars: 11
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