A Night to Remember France 1960.

A Night to Remember at Dreux AB France 1960
By Al2C Sibert 7305th CAMS

Sibert on His MopedSibert on His Moped

Sometime in early September 1960 two airmen also stationed at the base and I went out the front gate entrance on our Mopeds, hung a left onto road D-20 for a short way then hung a left onto road D-11 heading for the village of Chennevieres. Passing by the base runway end known as the 24 end the moon coming up was showing it self to be bright and full that night. Onward toward the Juli's bar located in Chennevieres we motored at a slow and easy pace. It was not fully dark when we arrived at our destination and parked the three Mopeds at Juli's bar off the road.

Juli's Bar When Dreux was Active

We entered Juli's bar and right away three French gals were in our faces wanting to dance and have a drink. Well, we three found a table to our liking and ordered three bottles of red table wine. This was my first and only trip to Juli's bar for I preferred Suzie's bar in Chateauneuf. I was not a drinking man and would have wanted a beer instead of the wine but the other guys had it done in quick time. Looking around the place I saw we were the only other GIs in there that night. A few Frenchmen were there that night drinking and smoking and just being their natural selves. Money was quickly dropped into the Juke Box by the two other guys and dancing took over on the dance floor. Not only was I not a drinker but I wasn't a dancer at this time. I just sat at the table and talked to one of the gals and bought her some drinks. Soon the three bottles of wine we had purchased first, were empty and three more bottles were ordered. I recall I did not place the second order, it was the other guys. Oh, drink up I was told by them, it'll make you feel good and besides table wine is not the hot stuff!! You'll do just fine they said. After a few more glasses of "Not the hot stuff' I was feeling no pain. After about two hours of this bar scene I was ready to head back to the base and told them so. When after three hours had passed the other guys said "they too were ready to head back. ,

The French gals hugged and kissed each of us and tried to keep us there, to no avail. They even followed us out to our Mopeds trying to restrain us. With all the Moped engines started after some short pedaling, away we all started for the base. The moon was full and very bright that night I recall. On the way it was late and no other vehicles were on the road. The two other guys, full of wine and singing at the top of their lungs roared off at a fast pace leaving me behind. I was not tipsy, at least I did not believe I was, but I was not going to race them back to the base. I passed by the 24 runway end on my right and the radar site on my left. I could not see or hear the other two guys any more.

Farm Road From D11 to Main Gate

Just then I came up on the farm wagon {tractor road on the right side that ran from road D-11 thru the corn field and over to the base entrance main gate road. What a bright idea flashed thru my brain. I would traverse that dirt road to the base and beat them to the front gate. I slowed the Moped and swung to the right off the pavement onto that dirt road. It was some what bumpy but in the moon light I could stay in the center and I was only going about 15 miles per hour. I would say about halfway there to the base road, what should appear dead ahead but a drainage ditch about two feet deep and two feet wide.

Juli's Bar in 1987

With the brakes locked front and rear down I slid down into that ditch. When I exited the ditch the Moped was on top of me, but still chugging somewhat with the engine trying to die. The wind had been knocked from me and a gash was bleeding from under my chin. Both knees of my dress pants had tears in them and my knees were bloody.

The wind back where it belonged, in my lungs, I straightened the Moped handlebars and proceeded ahead to the base entrance road. Hanging a right toward the guard shack, away I went on the pavement.

The AP on duty that night of course stopped me, asking "What have you done?". I told him the whole story and that's when he said the others had asked if I had came along. The AP guard and I shared a laugh and then I motored away toward my barracks. Locking my Moped to the upstairs outside balcony supports I climbed the steps up to my bay to explain to my two bay mates just what had happened to me. After a short talk I cleaned myself up and applied a few bandaids and hit the sack, I had made it to bed before mid-night and would have to go to work in the AM. I was still somewhat out of it in the morning but after breakfast I said "No more Juli's bar" to the other two guys I saw at the chow hall. There you have it.. What more can I say?

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