While Second Battalion was headquartered on Hill 65 from August to November, Sgt Major Williams had the opportunity to arrange to have a USO show come to Hil 65 and put on some entertainment, singing, laughing, and telling stories, for the troops with Miss America 1969 and her court of six ladies. It was August 20th, 1969, a hot day as I, LCpl Larry Tyler, remembered.
I had been selected back in early July to become the 2/5 battalion commander’s personal aid as his radio operator, bodyguard, and jeep driver for him. I served both the Lt Colonel and the Sgt Major. One of my many assignments on Hill 65 was to escort the Miss America ladies and provide security for them from the time they got off the helicopter until they departed Hill 65 via helicopter for Da Nang. Judy Ford, Miss America, and four of her group arrived together. The other two ladies, Miss Minnesota, Charolette Sims, and Miss Missouri, Kathi Goff, flew in a separate helo. The USO pageant would not allow all of them to travel in one chopper in case of a disaster. About an hour after the show was over, Miss America and four of the six ladies were escorted, by me and the Lt Colonel, to the helo pad for departure. I was then assigned to escort Miss Minnesota and Miss Missouri for the next two hours until the helo came back to pick these other two back to DaNang. I escorted them to the mess hall, to the Command Post, and to the privy and stood guard over them. I never expected to have an experience like that seeing an American woman in this war zone. After meeting them, I was really to take my R & R.
I was lucky to get a hug and a kiss on the cheek from all the ladies except Miss America. Two officers were assigned as escorts and keep her occupied. Miss New York asked me to look her up when I got home from the war; I was from New York State when I got drafted into the Service. I guess that was our connection to each other. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line with four months to go in the Nam, I lost the phone number she had written down on a piece of paper and handed to me. I always wondered if the number she gave me was real or fake.