Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Diary Entry 6: Saigon, Friday, 11 June 1965

                                          Saigon, Friday, 11 June 1965


            Went out to the office where I will work and met all the people yesterday.  I will work at MACV II headquarters which is in Cholon, or the Chinatown part of Saigon.  My boss is an Air Force colonel.  My assignment is to be Chief of Movements for MACV.  I will be on the joint staff in J-4.  Therefore, my address will be:  Major R.P. Clark, Jr., J-4, USMACV, APO 96243, San Francisco. 

MACV II Headquarters, 606 Tran Hung Dao Street, Cholon, Saigon, South Vietnam, 1965.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Army)

I was put right to work.  We have over a million pounds of airlift cargo backlogged at Tan Son Nhut airport and over a million tons of cargo backlogged at Saigon port.  I’ll get it moved somehow.  My job causes me to be responsible for all sealift and airlift movement of people and things in Vietnam.
Right now there is a big fight going on at Dong Xoai which is about 35 miles north of here.  Am holding up on air moves to see if J-3 is going to require airlift to put troops into the area.
Tomorrow we begin administrative processing, but I will skip all but the mandatory classes because of this situation.  Looks like I’ll have plenty to do in my year over here.
 I am living temporarily at the Majestic Hotel which overlooks the Saigon River.  Across the river the Viet Cong hold the countryside.  In Saigon, Americans are told not to walk in groups of more than 2 and never alone.  More than 2 presents a good target, alone you might be kidnapped.
A mine went off in a police station this morning, killing 3 and wounding 2 Vietnamese.  The security is not too good at the Majestic Hotel, but it will be better in my permanent quarters.
 The work day here is , 7 days a week.  Since we have to travel long distances to get from the hotel to work and vice versa, it makes for about a 16-hour day.
 I have never served with any of the people in the office.  I have working for me 2 Air Force majors, 2 Army majors, and 2 Navy lieutenant commanders.  They seem to be pleasant and competent.                                  

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