Friday, May 6, 2011

Diary Entry 78: Saigon, Tuesday Night, 19 October 1965

                                                                                             Tuesday Night, 19 October 1965

I did not write last night because I was out of town most of the day on a staff visit to the 1st Infantry Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade north of Bien Hoa Air Base.  By the time we got back to Saigon I had a terrible toothache so took 2 aspirins and went right to bed, although didn’t get too much sleep through the night.

U.S. Navy Headquarters Support Activity, Saigon Dental Clinic, 1965.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

This morning it was still hurting pretty bad so I went to the dental clinic and found out two teeth on the upper left side were abscessed and the abscess had burst in the night and was draining.  The dentist extracted one tooth and lanced the other and cleaned the bone real good.  Tomorrow I go back to let him look at it again to decide whether the other one has to go also.  I sure hope not.

Examining Room, HSAS Dental Clinic, 1965.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)


The dentist put me on quarters for the day and I came back here and flopped in bed.  Got a little sleep between noon and 3 and finally forced myself out to walk down to the Rex for soup and a sandwich.  Colonel Plate called about 7 and had me report to him down at his BOQ to let me know that he was unhappy because my people could not find some papers he wanted today.  Mainly reckon he wanted to let me know that he didn’t approve of my taking a “day off.”  He gets very upset and crochety if I’m gone from the office too much.
Really, he wasn’t too keen on my going up to Bien Hoa yesterday, but he didn’t have too much to say as it was directed by General Crowley.  Tried to see Lee Surut, but he was on an operation further up the road in Zone D and the route up there was not secure, so did not attempt to go any further.

With the tooth (or teeth) being pulled, am having second thoughts about going up to Qui Nhon on Thursday.  Worry about getting an infection out in the boondocks.  Hate to send another officer as I’ve worked them pretty hard on  some pretty hairy flight and movement operations and it’s really my turn to go.  Besides, General Crowley told me I ought to go up there and check the beach.  Well, I don’t have to make a decision right now, so we’ll just put that on the back burner.

Need to obtain a copy of the Pearl Harbor study from the files at Leavenworth.  The reason I want a copy is to teach my officers about decision-making in a joint headquarters from a historical example.  PH would be a good teaching vehicle.

I see by articles in the Stars and Stripes that the Beatniks and College Joes (and professors) are demonstrating against those of us over here.  Wish we had a law which prohibited demonstrating against the US in Vietnam UNLESS the participant had been over here in a combat situation.  If the public does not want me over here, I sure don’t want to be representing them as I’ve lost nothing over here.  And if the public does want me over here to help carry out national policies, sure wish that public would knock those Beatniks and intellectuals in the head.  Hard!

Up in the jungle, flowers that you just can’t imagine bloom by the thousands.  I saw some of the brightest and prettiest colors.  Wanted to dig some of them up and send them home but that of course was out of the question under the circumstances.

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