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Thanksgiving dinner gets a helicopter ride to a U.S. base in South Vietnam in 1967.
Thanksgiving dinner gets a helicopter ride to a U.S. base in South Vietnam in 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving dinner gets a helicopter ride to a U.S. base in South Vietnam in 1967.
Thanksgiving dinner gets a helicopter ride to a U.S. base in South Vietnam in 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Staff Sgt. Raymond Scherz of Addison, Ill., seems to be pondering the best way to convert this feathered visitor to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, into Thanksgiving dinner at the nearby Bear Cat base camp.
Staff Sgt. Raymond Scherz of Addison, Ill., seems to be pondering the best way to convert this feathered visitor to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, into Thanksgiving dinner at the nearby Bear Cat base camp. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Spec. 4 Fred Gutierrez makes the grab for the mess hall table at the 9th Inf. Div.'s Bear Cat base camp.
Spec. 4 Fred Gutierrez makes the grab for the mess hall table at the 9th Inf. Div.'s Bear Cat base camp. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
A feathered passenger gets the VIP treatment on the way to a base in Vietnam where hungry soldiers eagerly await its arrival in November, 1967.
A feathered passenger gets the VIP treatment on the way to a base in Vietnam where hungry soldiers eagerly await its arrival in November, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
A feathered passenger gets the VIP treatment (albeit a one-way trip) on the way to a base in Vietnam where hungry soldiers eagerly await its arrival in November, 1967. The turkey was one of 57,000 sent in to provide as many as possible of the half-million U.S. servicemembers in Vietnam with the traditional holiday feast.
A feathered passenger gets the VIP treatment (albeit a one-way trip) on the way to a base in Vietnam where hungry soldiers eagerly await its arrival in November, 1967. The turkey was one of 57,000 sent in to provide as many as possible of the half-million U.S. servicemembers in Vietnam with the traditional holiday feast. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967.
Thanksgiving time in Vietnam, 1967. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Spec. 4 Fred Gutierrez makes the grab for the mess hall table at the 9th Inf. Div.'s Bear Cat base camp.
Spec. 4 Fred Gutierrez makes the grab for the mess hall table at the 9th Inf. Div.'s Bear Cat base camp. (John Olson/Stars and Stripes)

In spite of hundreds of childhood admonitions not to play with their food, some American servicemembers in Vietnam found it hard to resist when their still-gobbling Thanksgiving main course arrived in November, 1967.

The turkey that found its way by helicopter to the 9th Infantry Division was destined for the nearby Bear Cat base camp. It was one of 57,000 sent in to provide as many as possible of the half-million Americans in Vietnam with the traditional holiday feast.

Also rolling through the supply chain for the 1967 meal were 225 tons of boneless turkey meat, 28 tons of cranberry sauce, 15 tons of mixed nuts, eight tons of candy, 11 tons of olives and 33 tons of fruitcake.

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