This afternoon we lost our first C-130 transport aircraft at Qui Nhon. It crashed in the bay when trying a landing. Early reports indicated that 6 people got out okay and 4 passengers are still missing. Am worried about it as one of my officers from J-4 ([Lieutenant Commander] Dick O’Neil[, U.S. Navy]) left to go to Qui Nhon this afternoon and I don’t know whether he was on this particular flight or not. I sure hope he wasn’t. Maybe I’ll run up there tomorrow and look at it, but don’t know why. I sure can’t do anything about bringing the people back or getting the plane out of the water.
|This U.S. Air Force C-130, above, with Movements Branch staff officer Lieutenant Commander Dick O'Neil aboard, crashed while attempting a landing at Qui Nhon, South Vietnam, 18 September 1965 (Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force).|
There was some action at An Khe today with the battalion of the 101st Airborne Brigade and we’ve been sending C-123s in all day with reinforcements and with supplies. Sherman was right when he said: War is hell. I’ve grown to hate it intensely.
Monday am going to ride the railroad from Saigon to Bien Hoa air base. I want to start using the railroad and there is a good bit of reluctance on the part of shippers to do so, because they are afraid that it isn’t secure. Figure the best way to convince them is to ride it myself. That way I can say for sure that I’ve been over the route and I know it is secure. We will have armored cars with Vietnamese soldiers going with us.
Haven’t seen Grady or anyone else I know in the past few days. Just been very busy trying to keep ahead (or up with!) all the movements we have going! Things are looking up, however. Colonel [Jack] Tooley, the commanding officer of the [U.S. Army 507th] Movements Group has arrived and has opened a small headquarters. Within the next 2 months, I should be out of business and turn over running the airline and steamship companies to him and his 300 people. Will be real happy to do so. When that happens, maybe I’ll have just a little bit more time to rest, relax, or do some shopping.
Still very put out about the proposed assignment to DCSLOG (Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Department of the Army) in Washington. I am going to write them one more letter and see what they say. As far as my “career needs” are concerned, I sure don’t care about being a general and don’t care whether I become a full colonel or not. Just want to come home and relax without any pressures being put on me.