Friday, March 11, 2011

Diary Entry 44: Saigon, Friday Night, 13 August 1965

                                                                                           Friday Night, 13 August 1965

This has certainly been a good day.  Had a successful promotion party at the Hong Kong BOQ and everybody seemed to have a good time.  Two brigadier generals, Crowley and Reichel, came early.

Well, it was a good day up to the time of the above half-paragraph.  Then I got a call from BG DePuy, the J-3 (Assistant Chief of Staff for Military Operations) to come over to his office right away and discuss airlift with him.  Did just as he requested and now it is just a little past 1 a.m. and am back to writing again.  Got some math computations to work out after I finish this.  Then must go to work early tomorrow as I promised I’d call him up-country and give a recommendation by 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. 

Crowley and Reichel came early to the party and stayed until closing time at 10:15, so I guess the food and drink was good.  Had about 35 people there, including 4 senior Vietnamese officers who I work with:  Colonel Tho, Deputy J-4 (Logistics Chief),  Armed Forces of Vietnam; Colonel Xoi, who is Chief of Transportation of Armed Forces of Vietnam; Lieutenant Colonel Khuang, who is Chief of Movements of Armed Forces of Vietnam---he is my counterpart in the Vietnam Armed Forces and one of my additional duties is to be his advisor; and finally Major Tri, who is General Ky’s special military assistant for Economic Affairs.  The photographer I hired to take pictures gave up soon after arrival because the lighting was so dim and he didn’t have a flash.

On General Crowley:  He is the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, J-4, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.  He is responsible for all:  1) transportation in Vietnam; 2) supply in Vietnam; 3) hospitalization in Vietnam; 4) construction in Vietnam; 5) maintenance of equipment in Vietnam; and 6) ammunition in Vietnam.  Pretty big job.  I help him out in transportation.  He graduated from the Military Academy in 1942; made brigadier general in 1963 and is waiting for his 2nd star now.  He does not command anything, but he has a big staff job.  Not for publication, but let me run down some things he is responsible for: (UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION ONLY).

Transportation:  100,000 passengers a month on the airline; 500,000 TONS of cargo a month on the steamship company.  

Hospitalization:  5 hospitals bigger than the one at Ladd AFB.  

Supply:  every bean, bullet, and gallon of gasoline.  

Construction:  $500,000,000 worth this year.  

Maintenance:  A whole lot of trucks, planes, and boats.  

Ammunition:  Enough to blow New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles completely off the map.

My trips to the boondocks have all turned out fine.  And I don’t really do much in getting things accomplished.  Usually, I just come back and offer an opinion like, “you can put a division here, you can’t put one there; the port capability is not adequate to support plans so we need to do such and such to improve it.”

Clark on one of his "trips to the boondocks" Pleiku, South Vietnam, July 1965.  (Photo courtesy Richard P. Clark, Jr. collection)

FRESH NEWS:  Spent some time with General Westmoreland today at a decision conference. I offered some advice, but don’t know whether he’ll take it.  Have given up trying to remember things as so much seems to happen.  Put in to move to another BOQ as it is important to get away from that roommate before he drives me nuts.

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