Friday Night, 9 July 1965
Home late again as usual and dining tonight on cheese and crackers. Decided it would be a pleasant change from peanut butter.
Nha Be and watch the artillery firing at the VC. Never went to a war like this before.
I will move or not later. There are advantages to certain places that have dining rooms in them, but these are generally the big targets. The place I stay now houses only about 30 officers, mostly captains and majors, so it isn’t like the Rex which has 300 colonels and lieutenant colonels.
[Transcript of previous page]
2 July 1965
Major General W. B. Rosson
Chief of Staff
Dear General Rosson:
I am writing to you, first to welcome you to Vietnam, and secondly to request your assistance in possibly settling a problem.
I am presently a member of Detachment B-22, stationed at An Khe. Due to our location, and the situation: [sic] we are supplied mainly by air. This is our problem.
Our detachment orders its Commissary and PX items from Saigon. After the processing, loading on palettes [sic] and hauling, and requesting aircraft, the supplies are flown to An Khe. We order our supplies periodically, and as such, in some large quantities.
We presently have four hundred cases of beer sitting in Saigon. This beer has been in Saigon, waiting to be shipped for over a month, and as yet, no action has been forthcoming to move it to our camp. It is realized that this is a large quantity of beer. I have been told by the people at TOC in Saigon, that the request through channels resulted in a negative reply.
This is a morale problem. We are forced to buy Vietnamese beer at the local price which runs high due to transportation and handling costs to bring this beer from Saigon. The supply is limited in addition.
My question to you sir, is whether anything can be done to correct this situation. We have little entertainment here. We seldom receive any movies and our location precludes any other type activity.
As we are an operational detachment, we have our share of convoys, patrols, and operations in this area. I realize this problem is rather insignificant in view of the major problems of this war. And as a soldier, you take things as they come and do your best regardless. However, I feel something might be done to overcome this problem.
I hope my letter does not antagonize you, nor you mind my having written you concerning this little problem.
I thank you for your indulgence and wish you a good tour in Vietnam.
Richard E. Bourne
Sgt RA 12591898
Det B-22, 5th SFC
[Clark’s handwritten comments at the bottom of the page:]
I am up to my you-know-what in emergency lift of beans and bullets, and this guy wants beer. I’d a whole lot rather answer this Sgt a great big NO! than I would some mother whose son died because he didn’t have ammo to shoot. Besides, Special Forces, to whom this Sgt is assigned, has more airplanes than I do. Looks like they could get the beer to him if they wanted to.