Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diary Entry 19: Saigon, Saturday, 3 July 1965

                                                                Saturday, 3 July 1965

This has been a long and tiring day and I’m sure glad to be back in the BOQ again.  Just getting away from all the frenetic activity and wheel-spinning for a few hours is like going on R&R!

But in spite of all the frustrations, long hours, hard work, and stupid people you have to deal with sometimes, there are other compensating circumstances.  I have a front row seat at the biggest military operation in the world.  It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to see the whole picture of military organization at work.

In the near future, hope I won’t have to work so hard as Colonel Plate told me today that 3 new officers who are arriving this month will be assigned to my branch.  One is an Army major, one is a Navy lieutenant.commander, and one is an Air Force major.  This will give me a total of 10 officers in the branch.  Intend to use all 3 as my action officers here to solve some of the nit-picking problems I’ve been saddled with.  They sure will be welcome.  Got a new captain (Army) last week and assigned him to my airlift control center down at Tan Son Nhut.  He is a TC captain named [Robert] Dendtler.  Came from Ft. Eustis Regular Course.

My boss is Colonel [Stanley W.] Plate (USAF), nice fellow, but does not know anything about transportation in the field.  He is not a pilot, so he is not very well informed on airlift activities.  He says he’s spent most of his time in the Air Force on study groups and committees in Washington.  We have some problems with him, because he does not think very deeply or very long before jumping off into deep water.

Air Marshal General [Nguyen Cao] Ky [the new South Vietnam prime minister] made some sort of announcement yesterday that we had agreed to “build a highway in the sky” to fly food to all the people in the highlands because the VC had control of the roads.  I already have enough problems with airlift without General Ky giving me more.  Sure hope no one on our side agrees to this.  Have already told General Crowley and General Westmoreland that wholesale resupply by air will break our backs.

Grady hasn’t come in yet, but expect him pretty soon.  He has to make a security inspection of a restaurant and night club that is top on the VC list to get bombed next.  
Since he has a card to show that he’s a chief of secret police, the Vietnamese police take good care of him.  So I’m going to go along with him to see what this place looks like.  Grady says lots of generals go there and that is why they are worried about it getting bombed.

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