Saturday, February 5, 2011

Diary Entry 21: Saigon, Tuesday Morning, 6 July 1965

                                                                                                        Tuesday Morning, 6 July 1965

Am at MACV I headquarters which is across town from where I usually work and am waiting for a planning conference to begin.  No sense letting the time go to waste, so am writing.  Find that I must make every free minute count as there aren’t very many of these.

MACV I Headquarters, 137 Rue Pasteur, Saigon, South Vietnam, 1965.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Army)

Last night was a short night.  Didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m. or so, and this morning came around awful fast.  It really shouldn’t have taken us that late to do what we did, but it seemed like the meeting was chaired by a couple of colonels who don’t like to sleep and who already have ulcers, and they just wanted to stay up.  Lord, deliver me from these types! Will probably be tied up here until noon today and consequently lose a 1/2 day of productive effort.

Security people found a bomb (or at least some type of explosive device) in the Rex yesterday, but they are keeping it quiet.  Conference will probably begin in a few minutes so I’ll stop now.

[Resumed at 6:30 p.m.]

Sure hope the phone doesn’t ring tonight.  I could do with a full night’s sleep.  Reckon I’m getting old.  Back in the Korean War I could march all day, stay up most of the night watching for the enemy, and feel like a fresh Tiger in the morning.  Here, I feel worn out all the time.The pressure never seems to let up.  But I guess I’ve never had this big of a job before.  Seems like we barely keep our head above water.  Maybe I can just finagle a TC battalion command assignment over here and get back to doing simple things again.

Won’t go out to supper tonight.  The Rex is closed because they found a large bomb in the dining room this afternoon.  The Brink BOQ which was blown up on Xmas Eve is also supposed to be hit tonight with a bomb.  Just don’t know whether I’ll move from here [the Ham Nghi BOQ].  It is inconvenient for eating as we do not have a mess hall in the building, but it’s such a small place that it is not a good target.  This BOQ is so small that they don’t even have MPs guard it.  Just National Police.
Believe I’d think a long time before moving to one of the larger places even though the rooms are better.  Why take a risk?  For food I’ll just stick with peanut butter and crackers for supper right here as I’m just as afraid of Vietnamese cooking as I am of getting zapped at the Rex or Brink.  Grady eats at a Vietnamese restaurant every night, but I was so sick in Korea with stomach trouble that I just can’t go with him.  He never gets sick from eating out, but I probably would.  Am so tired I just can’t hold my head up any longer.  Will go to sleep and write later tonight when I wake up or first thing tomorrow morning.

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