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SAIGON KID DANIEL MURPHY RECALLS HIS YOUTH IN VIETNAM – 1958 TO 1959

Submitted by Daniel Murphy (ACS and JDP)

JDP2

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Use your back button to return here from enlarged image.

My name is Dan Murphy. My Father Raymond (Spud) Murphy worked for JDP.

We lived in Ban Methout from June 1958 to May 1959 more or less; and, then outside of Pleiku towards the East in a JDP compound called Camp 134.

My father was the project manager for the highway construction from Camp 139, Ban Methout to Nha Trang and later from Pleiku Camp 134 to Quinhon.

I was 8 years old when our family moved to Viet Nam.

Over the years I have looked in on your website and enjoyed the Deja Vu.

I remember the JDP compound outside of Saigon near Tan Son Nhut airport. I remember the French concrete guard tower by the golf course by the JDP compound surrounded with barbed wire.

When driving to Saigon from the JDP compound there was a small Seventh Day Adventist Hospital with a Blue Neon Cross that lit up.

Over the years we met Father Crawford. He gave my sister her First Communion in the Saigon Cathedral in 1959.

Since we lived up country My sister and I received our lessons through the Calvert Correspondence School.

The only family that I remember living in the JDP compound was the Kleppich family from Red Lodge Montana. Their daughter Karen taught My sister Gayle and I how to play Monopoly. We would sometimes stay with the Kleppich family when we would come to Saigon. Other wise we would stay at the Majestic Hotel near the River or the Continental. In my book the Majestic was nicer. It was close to the
miniature golf course across the street.

7 comments to SAIGON KID DANIEL MURPHY RECALLS HIS YOUTH IN VIETNAM – 1958 TO 1959

  • Kathy Connor Dobronyi

    Daniel, thank you for sharing your memories. My mother was a patient at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital at one time while we were in Saigon from June 1963 to March 1964. There have been many questions about the JDP Compound and the company. I was in Hawaii when you and your family were in Saigon.

  • Dan Murphy

    Dear Kathy
    Funny story about the operating room at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital..They only had one operating room .I was on the operating table getting prepped for surgery,when everything stopped. I was put on hold on a guerney and a lady giving birth took the table., Wham out came the baby, 5 minutes later I was on the operating table and in 20 minutes my surgery was done. My Father laughed his head off for years.
    There were Two doctors there, Doctors there, Doctors Teresa and Eleanor Vietti, with the missionary Alliance. They practiced medicine at the Ban Methout lepersarium, It was near where I used to live.Sadly Eleanor was captured by the VC on May 30 1962. She was never heard of again. Her Twin Teresa went on to be a pediatric oncologist and research professor. I could never tell the sisters apart.Some how JDP gave a few Dump truck loads of gravel to the Lepersarium parking lot and solved the mud hole conditions at the hospital.I would venture to say that your mother got the best of care at the hospita

  • Dori Britton

    My sister was born at 7th Day Adventist hospital in 1961.

  • Kathy Dobronyi

    Bob, I went to three different schools. When we lived on Kidd Drive, I went to Pearl Harbor Elementary for first grade. In 1958, we moved to Schofield Barracks, and I went to Wheeler Elementary for second grade. Mrs. Rubenstein was my teacher. The school was lousy, so my mother enrolled Michael and me in Trinity Lutheran School in Wahiawa. Miss Zerson was my third grade teacher. Where did you go to school on the island?

    • Kathy – We arrived in Hawaii 1 week before the start of school in 1956. We lived in Halawa Heights about 2 blocks down the hill from Camp Smith where dad was working on some top secret project with CENPAC. I went to Radford High School in Aiea starting my 9th grade year there. I have many many many memories and stories of the days of my youth in Hawaii — LOL.

      Bob

  • Richard Murphy

    Hi Dan,

    My family lived in the compound. My Dad, Frank Murphy was a project manager too based in Saigon . I remember the French guard tower..used to play in it with friends from the compound. We lived in Saigon from 58-60. I was 6-8 yo. Got a bunch of pictures of our house and gatherings of compound residents. The compound also housed embassy people. Our neighbor was William Colby, who was then the CIA’s station chief. I used to travel with my father up to the JDP camps every so often. Was stopped once by the VC..who let us pass when they saw we were with JDP. My father said they were all around the road project, but at that time not really a threat..go figure. My sister was born in Saigon. We were friends with Fr. Crawford too..my father helped him build his church..with ” excess” materials from the project. Got pictures of him too and his motorbike. Enjoyed your post.

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