Special Document # 1, Chapter 12
Excerpts from Ex-POW George Smith’s book, ‘POW, Two Years with the Viet Cong' Ramparts Press - © 1971


Note: The Words have been taken from the text of this book, from pages shown, for clarity parenthesis ( ) will assist in understanding. Billy Waugh sends.

George Smith’s words:
pp 237 – 239


I had a few worries myself (due to Isaac Camacho’s escape). I was awake all night, preparing for the action in the morning (after completion of the escape). I would be blamed. If he (Isaac Camacho) was successful, it would compromise the whole Camp, and they would be ‘pissed off’ (sic) at me.”
“It was daylight when Big Dumb relieved Nice Guy (POW guard duty), and came over to wake us up. With my heart thumping (sic) I got up as casually as I could, rolled up my net, and blew out the light. Normal routine, ‘Macho-yi, Macho-yi (Big Dumb calls to the rolled up pajamas on Isaac Camacho’s rack – meaning, “Camacho, Get up, Get up.”)
“Camacho did not get up of course. Big Dumb told me to get him up. I went over (saying) ‘Camacho, get up.’

He didn’t answer. I lifted up the (mosquito net) and gasped, and my eyes got big. I looked at Big Dumb, We haven’t got any Machos.’
His eyes were bigger than mine. He couldn’t believe it. He was thunderstruck that there wasn’t any Macho. He looked at the bed, then looked all around the cage. It suddenly dawned on him that Camacho was really gone. Then he exploded in a torrent of yelling and screaming. It was like poking a stick in an ant hill. Anus (the guard) came running so fast that he almost ran through the bars (of the cage), without opening the door. When he (Anus) started yelling, it blanketed Big Dumb’s chatter.

Oil Can Harry (The Officer in charge of the POW Guard Detail) came running with his pistol in his hand. People were running in every direction, yelling and hollering, and jumping up and down. Oil Can Harry was standing outside the cage with his gun pointing at Camacho’s rack, while he went through it. (sic)

I was sitting there trying to act scared and shook up, and surprised. I wanted to laugh so bad. It was the funniest Goddamned thing I have ever seen. Anus came into the slammer (Cage), with a lamp, it was daytime, the sun was up, he was looking all over with the lamp. He came darting in there, always returning to stare at Camacho’s bunk, as if he could make him appear by shear power. He gave me the lamp, telling me to look in Camacho’s shelter hole (bomb shelter). He had to crawl into (the hole) to see for himself. They could not believe that Camacho had escaped. When they figured out that he was not there any more, they could not figure out how he did it. They tried to squeeze into (through the bars) from the outside, and from the inside out.

They found his tracks going down to the well. His boots could be tracked easily, until he got into the underbrush. They tracked him, and back-tracked; they went around the cage trying to find more tracks.
They stomped on the ground to see if he had tunneled out. They searched his belongings finding that some things were gone. That shook them up even more, and it finally dawned on them, that he was really gone. Oil Can Harry got their further search organized, sending them to all the trails.”
pp. 239

 

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