Saturday, February 19, 2011

Diary Entry 29: Saigon, Saturday Night, 17 July 1965

                                                                                              Saigon
                                                                                              Saturday Night, 17 July 1965

   
The Big Red One (1st Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade) has landed.  That was the purpose of part of my trip last month to Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, and elsewhere.  We had to figure out where best to stage them through which ports and airfields.  Finally settled on Cam Ranh Bay for 1/3, stage the balance off ships to shore at Vung Tau then by air to Bien Hoa air base.  Moved 3,500 or so without so much as a small injury to any.  Came off well. When the actual move came off, I went to Vung Tau to watch it go thru and sent one of my officers to Cam Ranh.  It’s a good feeling to make out a plan and then go watch it be executed in good fashion.  Makes you feel like you’re doing something productive.

I doubt that there is a conference table in sight for a long time.  The stakes just went up.

The title “colonel” still seems funny to me.  I keep answering the telephone as “Major Clark, speaking, sir---“  People in the office kid me about it.

Today I didn’t do much, but I stayed busy.  Went to Tan Son Nhut to attend a planning conference with 1st Logistical Command.  When I came back, everybody was in a flap because McNamara’s here and he has a lot of questions he wants answered---all in the next 5 minutes.  It’s like trying to write a history of the Civil War in 2 hours. . .can’t be done.  The higher-ups don’t seem to realize it, but if they want a report badly, they get it bad.  

Now it is getting toward the midnight hour and I have stacks of papers to go through tomorrow as well as to prepare a briefing for one of McNamara’s assistants on transportation problems and solutions in Vietnam on Monday.  Sure hope my crystal ball holds out!

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