In our 64th edition of the Donut Dollie Detail we continue our focus on the Donut Dollies, but with this edition we share the memories of a Vietnam veteran who served on the Cam Ranh Bay base. Jim Mummah was stationed at CRB during the preparation, construction and grand opening of the Red Cross Recreation Center and shared his photos and memories with us. We hope you’ll enjoy seeing the Donut Dollies from a different perspective, that of a man who is appreciative of their service.
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Here are the memories from Vietnam veteran Jim Mummah of the Cam Ranh Bay Donut Dollies…
“I was in the Air Force at Cam Ranh Bay and I was present for the grand opening of the new Red Cross Recreation Center that opened in late 1968 or early 1969 on the Air Force West Side, better known as Herky Hill. I hope they bring fond memories for the ladies pictured.”
These photos show the site preparation and construction of the Cam Ranh Bay Recreation Center. “At first it was just a prepared flat spot, and we all wondered what would be built there.” Not long after, we learned that the Donut Dollies would be operating the new Recreation Center.
“As I mentioned above, the Air Force West Side was called ‘Herky Hill’. ‘Herky’ is a shortened nickname for the Hercules aircraft, the C-130. The hill is pictured in the photo below with the water tank in the background. In the foreground of this picture is the ‘hooch’ I lived in. I was on the 2nd floor at the far end. This picture was taken from just about where the RC Center was built. Any of the Dollies at this center would recognize this view.”
Here are photos taken at the grand opening of the Cam Ranh Bay Red Cross Recreation Center.
“This photo is me preparing to go on a mission into the Highlands. I remember that mission all too well, as it turned really bad that evening and we lost 6 men from a 13-man team. The team was comprised of 2 Air Force and 11 Army men.”
“About the time the Recreation Center was built I was gone on missions into the Highlands much of the time, so I didn’t get to spend much time in the center. I do recall talking with one of the ladies several times, but being old, I cannot recall her name. She is not pictured in my photos. A humorous note about the RC Center opening… prior to that the “uniform” the men wore in our area was mostly flip flops and underwear. After the ladies came to the hill, we chose to wear shorts or pants.”
“Realizing the service and sacrifice of the SRAO ladies is what made me feel that these ladies meant so much more than donuts. But it is true that the Donut Dollies name is cuter and sounds better. Thanks to each and every one of you who served in Vietnam. You were our heroes.”
If anyone can identify any of the unnamed Donut Dollies, it would be appreciated.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE ARE 5 PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF OUR MEMORABILIA MONDAY FEATURE AND 63 EDITIONS OF THE DONUT DOLLIE DETAIL THAT CAN BE SEEN HERE, JUST SCROLL DOWN TO READ EACH (AT THE BOTTOM, YOU’LL SEE A LINK TO GO TO THE NEXT PAGE OF DONUT DOLLIE DETAIL FEATURES)
I was at the Cam Ranh Bay 6th Convalescence Center in June 1969 recovering from a shrapnel wound. Great beach.