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A Brief History of the Phoenix O-Club
by Gary Earls (30/36)

We started building the Phoenix Club in about July or August 1969. We worked out a deal with the SeaBees to help us. We provided aerial transportation and they provided carpentry expertise. Major Karjala, who was a Chinook maintenance officer, sent Capt Steve Rochart (sp?) to the Philippines to buy equipment and decor for the club.

Steve called Karjala from DaNang and told the old man he had two deuce and a half loads of equipment. Karjala says no problem and goes to Camp Eagle and borrows a Chinook, flies to Danang, and picks up Steve and the equipment. They fly back and land the Chinook in the Phoenix Nest. Folks at Battalion Headquarters were trying to figure out what the Chinook was doing in the Nest.

The bar was triple-thick so it could be used as a shelter during rocket attacks. Now you know why it looked like a "whorehouse." Don Swanson, who had worked in casinos in either Reno or Las Vegas, was probably in on the planning of the decor.

It was either the night of December 24th, 1969 or December 31, 1969, that the 3rd Brigade duty officer entered the club and attempted to shut it down. Big mistake on his part. He got tossed out to the club and told never to come back again.

Gary E. Earls
Phoenix 30/36
Roadrunner 5