174th Assault
Helicopter Company

Misfits Hootch in 1969

The Misfits tent was first erected at Duc Pho in May 1967, at the west end of the Company Street, when the 174th was infused with over ten WO1 pilots in one week. Those pilots, from flight school class WORWAC 67-3, needed to be housed somewhere as there was insufficient room in the existing pilot's tents. A tent was erected temporarily (as were many things in Vietnam), and was eventually replaced with the Misfits "hootch" in this photo. WO1 Jim McDaniel, a member of the original misfits in 1967, says it was so named because the new pilots housed in the tent belonged to both of the slick platoons and thus lacked a platoon identity of their own. They became the unit "misfits." While not all of those newly assigned pilots went into the Misfits tent, the original misfits McDaniel remembers were WO1's: Richard Machina, Mike Magno, John Mincer, Jim Mincher, Mike Magno, Mel Main, Jim McDaniel, and John Deringer (there may have been another one or two--can't remember). Jim Messinger joined the unit from class 67-3 also but was in the 1st Platoon's tent and was not a Misfit. This photo was taken around June 1969. Note the PSP (perforated steel planking--interlocking steel planks used for temporary runway construction) at the lower left, covering the bunker which had probably just been completed. The silver-colored cylinder at the bottom-left of the photo is fuel drop-tank from an Air Force jet fighter (probably an F-4 Phanton). They were scrounged when possible for use as water tanks over makeshift showers built into some of the hootches. While perhaps not readable in the first photo, the words on the rotor blade above the entrance say, "Duc Pho Branch (Members Only) Misfits Country Club" and are clearly readable in the second photo. (Photos by Dave Lovett, Duc Pho, June 1969)