So, it seems that the United States was a bit cocky about the initial military gains in the decade-long war in the South East Asian nation. Although jet aircraft had been developed in the middle of the World War II, many of the Naval carriers involved in the war still used good-old A-1 Skyraider propeller driven aircraft and continued to do so for many years till they were replaced by the jet A-6A Intruders. In 1964, the US was making considerable terrain gains against the Vietcong and their fledgling air resistance had already been destroyed. There was muffled opposition at that time in back in their country of the war, but it continued nevertheless. So cocky the Americans had become with their complete air superiority that Commander Clarence J. Stoddard of the Attack Squadron 25 allowed the delivery of a bizarre one-time only ammunition codenamed “Sani-Flush”; A broken down lavatory seat!
The US Navy’s SOP demands that the broken down toilets of the carriers ought to be dumped straight into the ocean, but Commander Stoddard had a cheekier idea to pull off on the war-ravaged land. It has to be noted that the toilet is not at all an “airworthy” ordinance as even extra fuel tanks installed on aircraft are designed to face less drag and not make flight problematic for the plane. Even then, when an aircraft goes into air combat, the fuel tanks are immediately jettisoned to make it more maneuverable. Imagine what an awkward seat would have done with its extremely ill-suited exterior. Nevertheless, it is in a fighter pilot’s nature to pull off this kind of stuff to show off to his peers. So, it was done, and the aircraft got airborne with the shitty delivery package with the ground crew in full co-operation with Stoddard to pull this off. They positioned the plane in such a way that the flight captain monitoring the take-offs couldn’t see what was hanging beneath the right wing up until the time of take-off. But, even then the sharp commander overseeing caught their bluff partially and yelled on the radio “what the hell was on 572’s right wing?”. I am sure the story made Stoddard a legend in the Navy Reserve.
When the time came to release the deadly bioweapon, Stoddard, flamboyant as ever, pushed the lever. Since it wasn’t airworthy enough to be a bomb, it immediately arched back and almost hit the plane itself. But, pilots are lucky, and he survived this immediate aerodynamic backlash from the toilet. Stoddard claims that upon release, the toilet made a whistling sound and went on towards an unintended target. I can’t imagine what the unwary Vietnamese must have thought on the ground if it did hit something in the vicinity! Stoddard was congratulated by many upon return to pull off this prank right under the nose of the command, and Naval Intelligence was full of jokes on biological warfare and how they had pulled off some amazing tricks. Needless to say, this was the highlight of the achievements of US military one decade later when they were forced to leave Vietnam, and their enemy managed to control all of the country.