Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diary Entry 43: Saigon, Wednesday Night, 11 August 1965

                                                                                                  Wednesday Night, 11 August 1965

This may not be a very long entry tonight as I get interrupted by frequent phone calls every 15 or 20 minutes.  We’ve had a rough tactical emergency going since early yesterday at Pleiku and Duc Co.  As usual, everybody wants airplanes and we don’t have enough to go around.  Our scheduled operations were shut down completely and I have had only a few hours sleep in the last 48 hours.  Spent most of my time over in the J-3 Combat Operations Center trying to keep up with the situation.  Had good company.  [Lieutenant Colonel] John Arnette (325th Airborne Infantry Regiment) was J-3 duty officer there during one evening so we had some pleasant chats.

Brigadier General [Mike J.] Reichel [Director of Transportation, US Army] came in on Tuesday to spend a few days with us.  [Reichel commanded the 48th Transportation Group when Clark was the company commander of the 63d Transportation Company (Light Truck), a subordinate unit of the 48th Group, from 1960-1961.]  He arrived just about the time the emergency came off, so maybe he had a good introduction to some of our transportation problems.  I spent most of Tuesday with him until things got kind of tight.  Then I turned him over to Major Dughi late in the day when my time became too valuable.  He’s going up-country, so I put Major Metheny on as his escort officer. 

Colonel Mike J. Reichel, center-left, commander of the U.S. Army 48th Transportation Group, congratulates Captain Richard P. Clark, U.S. Army, commander of the 63d Transportation Company (Light Truck) following exercises at Fort Eustis, Virginia, 1960.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Army)  [Note the Army officer at left wearing shorts as part of his uniform!]

Flew up to Bien Hoa last night for about an hour to wave goodbye to [Lieutenant Colonel] Lee [Surut] on his trip up-country [to Pleiku].  He runs a good outfit. [Surut was the commander of the 3d Battalion, 319th Artillery, 173d Airborne Brigade.]  Not able to spend much time talking as he was very busy.

1 comment:

  1. Mike Reichel was my father! So good to see the photo. I remember well his trip to Vietnam when he was Chief of Transportation, and I have many fond memories of our days at Fort Eustis, when he was Commander of the 48th Group.

    Thank you!