Monday, March 14, 2011

Diary Entry 45: Saigon, Tuesday Night, 17 August 1965

                                                                                               Tuesday Night, 17 August 1965 

Since last Saturday, we’ve just been real busy almost up to midnight thrashing out some plans.  Have even been a very bad host as I had company visit with me Sunday and Monday and the host just didn’t treat them the way he should have.  

[Major] Jim Greenquist and [Major] Harry the Horse [Brockman] were my guests Sunday and Monday.  I had told each of them to come by and see me whenever in Saigon and they both showed up the same day.  Commercial hotel rooms in Saigon are either too expensive ($20 US a day) or are not safe, so few US types stay in them when they pass through Saigon.  As a rule, my door is always open to friends who need a place to stay.  So had to roust around and find a couple of cots and mattresses and sheets to put them up in the living room.  Then proceeded to be so busy that I only got to wake them up and talk with them a little when I finally got in.  They both tell me that they don’t have to work nearly this hard out in the field.  Kinda makes me feel like I’d like to get out of the headquarters.  But don’t know whether that’s such a good idea, either.  Harry was visiting in Saigon to ship out his hold baggage and to do some final shopping.  He leaves here in 26 days.  He’ll stay with me when he comes back through on rotation. 

Clark, left, and Brigadier General Mike J. Reichel, U.S. Army Director of Transportation, right, at Movements Branch, MACV II Headquarters, Cholon, Saigon, South Vietnam,  17 August 1965 (Photo courtesy Richard P. Clark, Jr. collection).

General Reichel has been here since last Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Saturday, I forget which.  So many things happen around here that it is almost impossible to keep up with what the day or date is.  Anyway, I’ve been the project officer for his visit.  And taking care of his transportation, escort officer, visits with the wheels, and others took up a good bit of my time.  General Reichel was scheduled to leave here Monday afternoon on Ambassador [Henry Cabot] Lodge’s airplane to Bangkok but he got bumped at the last minute by General Westmoreland, so we had to go through a lot of gyrations to get him a room for another night as well as air transport out this morning on a commercial airline.  This put everyone in a panic making all the arrangements until late last night.  Think he had a good visit with us. 

Monday we had a bombing near MACV II, where I work.  The VC blew up the National Police headquarters.  Was immediately concerned about Grady as he has to attend an anti-terror committee meeting there every Monday, so called him when it went off.  Fortunately, he was busy and decided not to go to the meeting that day.  Two of his US agents were wounded.

I put in to move to the Vinh Loi Hotel, just down the street.  I kind of hate to leave the Ham Nghi, but I can get a room all by myself down there.

Forgot to mention we (Movements Branch) gave General Reichel a genuine Montagnard crossbow as a souvenir before he left.  Now I’ll have to go back up to Pleiku to get me another one!

My branch has been hit with sickness today, and in at least one case have some disciplining today.  Major Beaver went to the hospital with malaria this morning.  Yeoman-Seaman Drake (PFC) US Navy, who is a typist in the Sealift Center went to the hospital with mononucleosis and infectious hepatitis.  He will go to Clark AFB, Philippine Islands tomorrow.  Pretty sick kid, but expect he’s been out kissing the bar girls and drinking Vietnamese liquids.  Sergeant Heizman, who is newly assigned to the Sealift Center, has been reported from the hospital as having been treated for VD, so tomorrow he will probably be PFC Drake’s replacement as discipline is in order.

1 comment:

  1. I remember some great times with Dick-first at the Univ of Tenn in 1959--then Vietnam--followed
    by Fort Eustis---and finally our last asignment together
    with J4 JCS at the Pentagon. Dick was the transportation expert, a professional who was skilled at anticipating and solving problems.
    jim Greenquist