Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diary Entry 58: Saigon, Tuesday Night, 14 September 1965

                                                                                          Tuesday Night, 14 September 1965

Tonight I feel kinda sad and down in the dumps.  [Major] Harry [Brockman] went back to the States today and went out to Tan Son Nhut to see him off.  Very depressing experience.  

Normally, I try real hard not to think about the time over here and never count the days as I don’t think I could take it if days were numbered.  But going out to the airport and seeing the plane and watching it take off for the States kind of got to me.  Am real homesick tonight.  

Funny how fast things change here.  Just before I went out to see Hoss off was out with my airline watching them pull off paratroop drops at Phuc Vinh and Ben Cat in Zone D.  [Two South Vietnamese airborne battalions of 1,125 troopers jumped from fifteen C-130s and seized a drop zone just north of Lai Khe near Saigon.  The mission was executed with precision despite heavy rain showers and low ceilings in the area.  The drop followed a U.S. Air Force B-52 air strike and was coordinated with a helicopter assault by units of the U.S. Army 173d Airborne Brigade.] Felt like a tiger during that operation and then felt like a lamb when Harry’s plane took off.  Sure be glad when mine takes off!

South Vietnamese paratroopers conduct a combat jump from C-130s near Lai Khe, South Vietnam, 14 September 1965.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force)

Things are still going well with our friends at Qui Nhon [the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)], according to reports I receive each day.  Don’t know how the dickens they keep on target, but am thankful they do.  Makes my plan look good!

Haven’t had a chance to take any pictures of my new room but hope to do so this weekend to show how nice it is.  I have a fresh vase of flowers twice a week ($100 VN or about $0.75 US) and leave one potted plant and one water plant.  Kinda reminds me that I’m a civilized person in spite of the war which goes on around me.  Expect to save a few dollars this month and with it buy some pictures for the walls.  Kinda looks barren right now.

The PX here is going to be turned over from the Navy to the Army on 26 December, so the present management is putting all their stocks out at reduced prices.  However, I am resisting any urge to buy up things, because will just bet we will have a good or better selection after the Army takes over.  Many people are splurging right now because the Navy is putting out all their stocks, but I think it is wise to wait.

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