Monday, April 4, 2011

Diary Entry 57: Saigon, Sunday Night, 12 September 1965

                                                                                                       Sunday Night, 12 September 1965

Got back from Qui Nhon again (for the second time) last night but was just too tired to sit down and write.  Am kinda sorry about that today as I’m real happy over the way the operation is going up there.  Looks real professional, real good.  I am talking about the arrival of the 1st Air Cav Division from Fort Benning.  Back in late June and again in July, I went to Qui Nhon and An Khe on a mission.  That mission was to plan for the reception and throughput of the 1st Air Cav Div.  And I’m all swelled up that it is going smoothly.

The U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) arrives at Qui Nhon, South Vietnam, 11 September 1965.  (Photo courtesy Richard P. Clark, Jr. collection)

Everybody here is all smiles, because as of last Sunday (4 Sept) we had some big knock-down fights on whether the operation should or could be done.  Kept sticking by my guns and my instinct and it looks like we are now out of the woods.  Maybe I have some more surprises in days to come, who knows!

Expect to stay here in Saigon most all this and the next month, except for a brief trip or two back to Qui Nhon, Vung Tau, and Cam Ranh Bay.  But perhaps I can send one of my officers instead.  Maybe the success on the landing of the 1st Cav will give me more confidence and I won’t worry myself too much.

Friday  I went on a boat trip up and down a part of the Saigon River.  Visited places near Bien Hoa, Nha Be, Cat Lai, and Tan Thung Ha.  Got a nice suntan on face and arms and lots of fresh air so I felt a whole lot better.  

Today we had a conference with the airline people [the U.S. Air Force 2d Air Division and its subordinate unit, the 315th Air Commando Group] and did some planning there till noon.  Then I had a meeting with the [MACV] J-1 people about PX transportation problems, and the PX people think I’m Mr. Magician.  They ask questions like:  “When can we expect to move ‘X’ tons of PX supplies to Da Nang?”  And I just say:  “I can have the airplane ready before you get the supplies out to Tan Son Nhut.”  Have fun trying to work miracles.

Sure hope to be out of business pretty soon.  My efficiency expert friend [Colonel Arthur Hurow] has got things moving back in the States and by January, other people should be able to take over and I’ll just become a planner or a statistician.  That should make the rest of my tour less demanding, more pleasant.

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