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Takhli RTAFB - Land of the King Cobra
Posted by Bill T on 6/22/2011, 9:39:42
Takhli being the ďHome of the King CobraĒ Iím sure that some of us have a good snake story. I have a few from 66-67. I was a Security Troop with the 355 SPS. I had been in SEA for over a year (P.I. and Taiwan) prior to Takhli. I grew up on a farm/ranch so I was no stranger to snakes. As a kid I even had a few pet snakes. PI and Taiwan had their share of snakes but not even close to what was in and round Takhli. Working Takhli at night, on foot, on the perimeter got you acquainted with the different species of things that go bump in the night. Some of our sand bag bunkers (a ring of sand bags that snakes liked) were out close to the tree lines. There was a foot trail parallel to the tree line that you were expected to walk every so often. The monsoons rain would bring a hoard of things out of the jungle to higher ground. It had been raining all night and the night was just starting to give way to day. I was setting on the box that we kept hand grenades in with my poncho on, hood up, soaked to the bone and went to sleep. It was tuff to stay awake that time of morning. Not the thing a Security guy wants to get caught doing. When I opened my eyes I was looking down at the ground just over my knees. At first I did not notice the snake because it was wet and the same color as the mud and grass. In fact I didnít notice it until the breathing movement of its body gave its presence away. This thing was a good 36 inches long which was not a long snake at Takhli. What scared me was how wide it was. It was at least 10 inches wide at the middle with a head about 3 inches across. It seemed like an hour before it started to move away. I went the way it came from. Iíll be honest and say that I was afraid of that snake. I had seen pit vipers before but not like that evil looking thing. We could not unload a clip or 5.56 into a critter (a good SP rule) and using the butt of your M-16 was a good way to jack a round into the chamber. Using the butt of my M-16 would have gotten me closer to that snake than I wanted to be. We had umbrella stands and the pole made a good snake killing tool that morning. I did not go to sleep again on guard duty at Takhli. Vipers in the showers, a long green snake in a guard tower, tiger killing a goat in the bomb storage, not to mention cobra's and pythons. Yep we had snakes at Takhli.
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